Emily Owen

Emily Owen

School of Biosciences

Contact details

School of Biosciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

PhD Title: The Overwintering biology and pollination behaviour of native and non-native bumblebees

Supervisors: Professor Jeff Bale and Dr Scott Hayward

Emily is a final year PhD student, researching the Overwintering biology of native and non-native bumblebees as part of the Arthropod Ecophysiology lab group.


BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences, University of Birmingham


Emily Owen completed her first degree, BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences, at the University of Birmingham and graduated in 2010. Whist at Birmingham, she developed her interest in insect stress physiology with a primary focus on insect pests and biological control, leading to a publication in her 3rd year. Emily began her PhD, also in 2010, focusing on winter-active bumblebees and the affects of climate change.


Research group: Arthropod Ecophysiology lab group.

Emily is now a final year PhD student, (BBSRC-funded), under the supervision of Prof. Jeffrey S. Bale and Dr. Scott A.L. Hayward. She is investigating the overwintering biology of two bumblebee subspecies; the first native to the UK (Bombus terrestris audax) and the second native to South Eastern Europe (Bombus terrestris dalmatinus)

Other activities

Emily is actively involved in public engagement, particularly at science museums, and is a registered STEM ambassador.

She has written on multiple occasions for Times Higher Education and is a member of the Royal Entomological Society, Society of Biology, British Ecological Society and the Entomological Society of America.

She has presented her research at numerous international conferences and won the University of Birmingham’s academic poster competition in her 2nd year.


Owen, E.L., Bale, J.S. and Hayward, S.A.L. (2013) Can Winter-Active Bumblebees Survive the Cold? Assessing the Cold Tolerance of Bombus terrestris audax and the Effects of Pollen Feeding. PLOS ONE 8: e80061. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080061

Conference presentation, ISEPEP 5, Canada 2013–‘Can winter-active bumblebees survive the cold?’

Conference poster presentation, Eurbee 5, Germany 2012 – ‘Bumblebee cold tolerance and the influence of diet’

Hughes, G.E., Owen, E.L., Sterk, G. and Bale, J. S. (2010) Thermal activity thresholds of the parasitic wasp Lysiphlebus testaceipes and its aphid prey: implications for the efficacy of biological control. Physiological Entomology 35: 373-378.