Dr Laura Jones

Dr Laura Jones

Science Officer

The role of Science Officer is to contribute to delivering the Botanic Garden’s scientific research programme.

Our research concentrates on biodiversity conservation with current research areas including DNA barcoding of UK flora, DNA metabarcoding to understand honeybee and wild pollinator foraging and the conservation genetics of threatened plants.

The role is involved in public engagement with science both on and off-site, collaborating with researchers, co-ordinating and training the next generation of plant scientists, and managing the on-site molecular labs.

I am interested in the conservation of plants and pollinators and examining the interactions between them. My PhD research with the National Botanic Garden of Wales and Bangor University examined the foraging preferences of honeybees using DNA metabarcoding, looking at landscape level changes in foraging. I contribute to the ongoing research areas of the Botanic Garden, supporting the team in lab training and data analysis.

Lowe A., Jones L., Witter L., Creer S., de Vere N. (2022). Using DNA Metabarcoding to Identify Floral Visitation by Pollinators. Diversity 14:236.

Lowe A, Jones L, Brennan G, Creer S., de Vere N. (2022). Seasonal progression and differences in major floral resource use by bees and hoverflies in a diverse horticultural and agricultural landscape revealed by DNA metabarcoding. Journal of Applied Ecology.

Henniges MC, Powell RF, Mian S, Stace CA, Walker KJ, Gornall RJ, Christenhusz MJM, Brown MR, Twyford AD, Hollingsworth PM, Jones L, de Vere N, Antonelli A, Leitch AR, Leitch IJ. (2022). A taxonomic, genetic and ecological data resource for the vascular plants of Britain and Ireland. Scientific Data 9:1.

Moughan, J., McGinn, K.J., Jones, L., Rich, T.C.G., Waters, E., de Vere, N., (2021). Biological Flora of the British Isles: Salvia pratensis. Journal of Ecology 1–20.

Jones, L., Twyford, A.D., Ford, C.R., Rich, T.C.G., Davies, H., Forrest, L.L., Hart, M.L., McHaffie, H., Brown, M.R., Hollingsworth, P.M., de Vere, N., (2021). Barcode UK: A complete DNA barcoding resource for the flowering plants and conifers of the United Kingdom. Molecular Ecology Resources 1–13.

Jones, L., Brennan, G.L., Lowe, A., Creer, S., Ford, C.R., de Vere, N., (2021). Shifts in honeybee foraging reveal historical changes in floral resources. Communications Biology 4, 37.

Brennan, G.L., Potter, C., de Vere, N., Griffith, G.W., Skjøth, C.A., Osborne, N.J., Wheeler, B.W., McInnes, R.N., Clewlow, Y., Barber, A., Hanlon, H.M., Hegarty, M., Jones, L., Kurganskiy, A., Rowney, F.M., Armitage, C., Adams-Groom, B., Ford, C.R., Petch, G.M., Creer, S., (2019). Temperate airborne grass pollen defined by spatio-temporal shifts in community composition. Nature Ecology & Evolution 3.

Potter, C., de Vere, N., Jones, L., Ford, C.R., Hegarty, M.J., Hodder, K.H., Diaz, A., Franklin, E.L., (2019). Pollen metabarcoding reveals broad and species-specific resource use by urban bees. PeerJ 7.

Lucas, A., Bodger, O., Brosi, B. J., Ford, C. R., Forman, D. W., Greig, C., Hegarty, M., Jones, L., Neyland, P. J. &  de Vere, N. (2018) Floral resource partitioning by individuals within generalised hoverfly pollination networks revealed by DNA metabarcodingScientific Reports, 8, 5133.

de Vere N, Jones L, Gilmore T, Moscrop J, Lowe A, Smith D, Hegarty M, Creer S, Ford CR (2017) Using DNA metabarcoding to investigate honey bee foraging reveals limited flower use despite high floral availabilityScientific Reports 7, 42838.