6 May 2022
The pollen and nectar diet of pollinators contains a rich diversity of plant metabolites. So far, the impact of plant secondary compounds on pollinator health remains however poorly understood. As the Ann Sowerby Fellow in Pollinator Health at Kew, I am investigating the chemical diversity of pollen and nectar in important bee foraging plants of the UK, and the effect of selected compounds on microbial parasites of bees. I am especially interested in experimentally testing the interactions between secondary plant compounds, parasites, and the specific bacterial gut microbiome of bees. Ultimately, an improved understanding of beneficial or detrimental effects of native or invasive flowering plants on bee health will help to better support pollinator populations in the UK. Given the growing concerns about pollinator decline caused by habitat destruction, pesticides, and global spread of pathogens, this research is particularly urgent.
- Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Texas at Austin, USA 2013-2015
- Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale University, USA, 2012-2013
- PhD, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, 2012
- MSc, Imperial College/Natural History Museum London, UK, 2007
- Undergraduate Studies, University of Rostock, Germany, 2003-2006
Folly, A.J., Koch, H., Farrell, I.W., Stevenson, P.C. & Brown, M.J.K., (2021)
Agri-environment scheme nectar chemistry can suppress the social epidemiology of parasites in an important pollinator.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 288: 20210363.
Zu, P., Koch, H., Schwery, O., et al. (2021)
New Phytologist, 230: 1169-1184.
Koch, H., Woodward, J., Langat, M.K., Brown, M.J.K & Stevenson, P.C., (2019)
Current Biology, 29: 3494-3500.
Mockler, B.K., Kwong, W.K., Moran, N.A. & Koch, H. (2018)
Applied and environmental microbiology, 84: e02335-17.
Koch, H. & Stevenson, P.C., (2017)
Biology letters, 13: 20170484.
Koch, H., Brown, M.J.K. & Stevenson, P.C. (2017)
Current opinion in insect science, 21: 60-67.
Kwong, W.K., Medina, L.A., Koch, H., et al. (2017)
Science Advances, 3: e1600513.
Harmful or healthy? Studying how chemicals in nectar and pollen affect bees
Can diseased bees take advantage of antimicrobial chemicals found in plant nectar and pollen and self-medicate?
Are sterols landscape limiting nutrients for wild bees in the UK?
Mapping pollen phytosterols through space and time in the UK landscape, and elucidating the importance of phytosterols as essential nutrients for wild bee diversity