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 Owen Wright

Owen Wright

PhD Student

 Washington Singer Room 103


Washington Singer Laboratories, University of Exeter, Perry Road, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, EX4 4QG, UK


I studied zoology at Cardiff University where I gained a range of research experience and developed an interest in emerging infectious diseases and animal behaviour. During my time at Cardiff, I worked on the host-parasite interactions and behaviour of guppies (Poecilia reticulata) and Gyrodactylid parasites, Drosophila behaviour, and conservation genetics of the endangered mountain chicken frog (Leptodactylus fallax). I also completed a placement year at the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London where I screened for and characterised infectious diseases of herpetofauna.

To continue my research into animal behaviour and infectious disease I am undertaking a PhD project focusing on the behaviour and health of honeybees in the Asian tropics. Supervised by Dr. Natalie Hempel de Ibarra and Dr. Lena Bayer-Wilfert, and co-supervised by Dr. Hema Somanathan (IISER Thiruvananthapuram), this interdisciplinary and international project will seek to understand the foraging behaviour and disease ecology of honeybees in India.

Broad Research specialisms

  • Animal behaviour
  • Behavioural ecology
  • Host-parasite interactions
  • Disease ecology
  • Wildlife epidemiology


B.Sc. (Hons) Zoology with a Professional Training Year, Cardiff University (2017)


Research projects

Project Title: The behaviour and health of honeybees in the Asian Tropics

Supervisors: Dr. Natalie Hempel de Ibarra; Dr. Lena Bayer-Wilfert

Co-supervisors: Dr. Hema Somanathan (IISER Thiruvananthapuram)

Funding Body: BBSRC SWBio DTP

Project Description:

Crop production in the Asian tropics depends critically on pollination services provided by bees, including several species of honeybees. Yet very little is still known about the role of disease on their ecology and behaviour, in contrast to the well-studied Western honeybees. I will combine behavioural and molecular biological methods in a comparative approach to gain a deeper understanding of the foraging behaviour and disease biology of managed honeybees in the tropical areas of South India.      


Nicholls, E., Krishna, S., Wright, O., Stabler, D., Krefft, A., Somanathan, H., & Hempel de Ibarra, N. (2019). A matter of taste: the adverse effect of pollen compounds on the pre-ingestive gustatory experience of sugar solutions for honeybees. Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology, 205:333–346. Full Text Open Access.

Cunningham, A. A., Smith, F., McKinley, T. J., Perkins, M. W., Fitzpatrick, L. D., Wright, O. N., & Lawson, B. (2019). Apparent absence of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in wild urodeles in the United Kingdom. Scientific Reports 9:2831. Full Text Open Access.

Franklinos, L.H.V, Lorch, J.M., Bohuski, E., Rodriguez-Ramos Fernandez, J., Wright, O.N., Fitzpatrick, L., Petrovan, S., et al. (2017). Emerging fungal pathogen Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola in wild European snakes. Scientific Reports 7:3844. Full Text Open Access.

Price, S.J., Wadia, A., Wright, O.N., Leung, W.T.M., Cunningham, A.A. and Lawson, B. (2017). Screening of a long-term sample set reveals two Ranavirus lineages in British herpetofauna. PLOS ONE 12:e0184768. Full Text Open Access.


Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Publications by category

Publications by year


Wright O (2022). Honeybee health: from landscapes to behaviour.  Abstract.

Owen_Wright Details from cache as at 2023-06-02 02:14:44

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Supervision / Group

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