Photo of Clara M Montgomery

Dr Clara M Montgomery

  • BS8 1TQ


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

I study the role of electrostatics in bumblebee pollination and electroreception. Bumblebees are electrically charged, which facilitates pollination and may allow them to sense small electric fields using their mechanosensory hairs.  I am interested in how bumblebees generate an electric charge and how it affects their ecology. I have developed a range of techniques to measure insect charge in different environments both inside and outside the laboratory and use this to look at the effects of meteorological and electrical conditions on bee charge. I also study the role of tribology in bee charging and am investigating the relative triboelectric properties of bees and flowers.

I am also interested in the potential effects of bee charge upon flowers, including how bee charge affects pollen transfer and whether bee charge may affect floral volatile emissions by allowing plants to assess pollinator abundance and target their volatile emissions accordingly. This research is conducted in collaboration with Rothamsted Research in Harpenden.


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Research Output

  • 1 Conference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)
  • 1 Article (Academic Journal)

Measurement of electric charges on foraging bumblebees (Bombus terrestris)

Montgomery, C. M., 16 Oct 2019, Journal of Physics: Conference Series. 012002 ed. Vol. 1322.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

Open Access
  • Supervised Work

    The electric ecology of bumblebees

    Author: Montgomery, C. M., 23 Jan 2020

    Supervisor: Robert, D. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)