Dr Hauke Koch

Research Leader

Hauke Koch

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)

Pollen sterols are associated with phylogeny and environment but not with pollinator guilds.

New Phytologist, 230: 1169-1184.

Koch, H., Woodward, J., Langat, M.K., Brown, M.J.K & Stevenson, P.C., (2019)

Flagellum removal by a nectar metabolite inhibits infectivity of a bumblebee parasite.

Current Biology, 29: 3494-3500.

Mockler, B.K., Kwong, W.K., Moran, N.A. & Koch, H. (2018)

Microbiome structure influences infection by the parasite Crithidia bombi in bumble bees.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 84: e02335-17.

Koch, H. & Stevenson, P.C., (2017)

Do linden trees kill bees? Reviewing the causes of bee deaths on silver linden (Tilia tomentosa).

Biology letters, 13: 20170484.

Koch, H., Brown, M.J.K. & Stevenson, P.C. (2017)

The role of disease in bee foraging ecology.

Current opinion in insect science, 21: 60-67.

Kwong, W.K., Medina, L.A., Koch, H., et al. (2017)

Dynamic microbiome evolution in social bees.

Science Advances, 3: e1600513.

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Hauke Koch