Contacts Centre for Environmental Biology


Research fellow

CBA research group(s):

Computational Biology & Population Genomics

Personal webpage

Team webpage

Luísa Gigante Carvalheiro

Main Research Interests

I am a researcher in plant and insect community ecology & conservation at the University of Leeds, UK, also linked with Naturalis Biodiversity Center (the Netherlands) and University of Lisbon.

My main interest is to understand how environmental changes are affecting biodiversity through time and space; how such biotic changes  affect ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services (e.g. crop pollination and pest control); and how the complex network of ecological interactions in which species are integrated mediates such changes. 


Academic Qualifications

September 2010- present: Research fellow at School of Biology, University of Leeds.  
November 2010- present: Guest research fellow at Naturalis Biodiversity Center
June 2013-October2013 – Consultant for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Subject: Agroecology/ Ecosystem services
April 2008 – August 2010: Post doctoral fellow University of Pretoria & South African National Biodiversity Institute. Subject: Agroecology/ Ecosystem services
April 2008:        Ph.D. Dissertation, School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol,UK. Thesis: Impact and management of Invasive Plant Species: A Food Web Approach
July 2003 – Feb. 2004: Post-graduate research assistant on the Ecology Research Group of Lisbon Botanical Gardens, University of Lisbon (Portugal). Project:    Lichens as bioindicators of environmental quality. Field, lab work and data analysis.
May - June 2003: Post-graduate research assistant on Department of Animal Biology, University of Lisbon
Projects:        “Atlas of Reptiles and Amphibeans of Portugal” and “Evaluation of Herptofauna of Barragem do Alqueva region” (field work).
October 2002:  Graduation on Biology (Biologia Aplicada aos Recusros Animais – variante terrestres), Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa.

Relevant Publications:

Garibaldi L.A., Carvalheiro L.G. et al. From research to action: practices to enhance crop yield through wild pollinators. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment, in press.

Chamberlain S., Vazquez D.P., Carvalheiro L.G., Elle E. & Vamosi J.C. Phylogenetic tree shape and the structure of mutualistic networks. Journal of Ecology, in press.

Archer C.R., Pirk C.W.W., Carvalheiro L.G. & Nicolson S.W. 2014 . Economic and ecological implications of geographic bias in pollinator ecology in the light of pollinator declines. Oikos 123:401-407.

Barbosa E.R.M., Tomlinson K.W., Carvalheiro L.G., Kirkman K., de Bie S., Prins H.H.T., van Langevelde F. 2014. Short-term effect of nutrient availability and rainfall distribution on biomass production and leaf nutrient content of savanna tree species. PLoS ONE 9(3):e92619.

Steward P.R., Shackelford G., Carvalheiro L.G., Benton T.G., Garibaldi L.A. & Sait SM. 2014. Pollination and biological control research: are we neglecting two billion smallholders? Agriculture & Food Security, 3:5.

Barbosa E.R.M., van Langevelde F., Tomlinson K.W., Carvalheiro L.G., Kirkman K., de Bie S., Prins H.H.T. 2014. Tree species from different functional groups respond differently to environmental changes during establishment. Oecologia174(4):1345-57.

Hendriks R.J.J., Carvalheiro L.G., Kleukers M.J.C. & Biesmeijer J.C. 2013. Temporal-spatial dynamics in Orthoptera in relation to nutrient availability and plant species richness. PLoS ONE 8:e71736.

Carvalheiro L.G., Kunin W.E., Keil P., Aguirre-Gutiérrez J., Ellis W.N., Fox R., Groom Q., Hennekens S., Van Landuyt W., Maes D., Van de Meutter F, Michez D., Rasmont P., Ode B., Potts S.G., Reemer M., Roberts S.G., Schaminee J., WallisDeVries M.F. & Biesmeijer. 2013. Species richness declines and biotic homogenization have slowed down for NW-European pollinators and plants. Ecology Letters 16:870-878.

Garibaldi L.A., Steffan-Dewenter I, Winfree R, Aizen M.A., Bommarco R., Cunningham S.A., Kremen C., Carvalheiro L.G., Harder L.D., Afik O., Bartomeus I., Benjamin F., Boreux V., Cariveau D.,  Chacoff N.P., Dudenhöffer J.H., Freitas B.M., Ghazoul J., Greenleaf S.,Hipólito J., Holzschuh A., Howlett B., Isaacs R., Javorek S.K., Kennedy C.M., Krewenka K., Krishnan S., Mandelik Y., Mayfield M.M., Motzke I., Munyuli T., Nault B.A., Otieno M., Petersen J., Pisanty G., Potts S.G., Rader R., Ricketts T.H., Rundlöf M., Seymour C.L., Schüepp C., Szentgyörgyi H., Taki H., Tscharntke T., Vergara C.H., Viana B.F., Wanger T.C., Westphal C., Williams N., Klein A.M.  2013. Wild pollinators enhance fruit set of crops regardless of honey-bee abundance. Science 339:1608-1611.

Kennedy C.M., Lonsdorf E., Neel M.C., Williams N.M., Ricketts T.H., Winfree R., Bommarco R., Brittain C., Burley A.L., Cariveau D., Carvalheiro L.G., Chacoff N.P., Cunningham S.A., Danforth B.N., Dudenhöffer J.H., Elle E., Gaines H.R., Garibaldi L.A., Gratton C., Holzschuh A., Isaacs R., Javorek S. K., Jha S., Klein A.M., Krewenka K., Mandelik Y., Mayfield M.M., Morandin L., Neame L. A., Otieno M., Park M., Potts S.G., Rundlöf M., Saez A., Steffan-Dewenter I., Taki H., Viana B.F., Westphal C., Wilson J. K., Greenleaf S.S. & Kremen C. 2013. A global quantitative synthesis of local and landscape effects on wild bee pollinators in agroecosystems. Ecology Letters 16:584-599.

van Andel T. &  Carvalheiro LG. 2013. Why urban citizens in developing countries use traditional medicines: the case of Suriname. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Article Number: 687197.

Carvalheiro L.G., Seymour C., Nicolson S. & Veldtman R. 2012. Creating patches of native flowers facilitates crop pollination in large agricultural fields: mango as a case study. Journal of Applied Ecology 49:1373–1383.

Carvalheiro L.G., Veldtman R., Shenkute A.G., Tesfay G.B., Pirk C.W.W., Donaldson J.S. & Nicolson S.W. 2011. Natural and within-farmland biodiversity enhances crop productivity. Ecology Letters 14:251–259.

Sorensen P.B., Damgaard C.F., Strandberg B., Dupont Y.L., Pedersen M.B., Carvalheiro L.G., Biesmeijer J.C., Olsen J.M., Hagen M. & Potts S.G. 2011. A method for under-sampled ecological network data analysis: plant-pollination as case study. Journal of Pollination Ecology 6:129-139.

Garibaldi L.A., Steffan-Dewenter I., Kremen C., Morales J.M., Bommarco R., Cunningham S.A., Carvalheiro L.G, Chacoff N.P., Dudenhoffer J.H., Greenleaf S.S., Holzschuh A., Isaacs R., Krewenka K., Mandelik Y., Mayfield M.M., Morandin L.A., Potts S.G., Ricketts T.H., Szentgyorgyi H., Viana B., Westphal C., Winfree R. & Klein A.M. 2011. Stability of pollination services decreases with isolation from natural areas despite honey bee visits. Ecology Letters 14:1062–1072.

Biesmeijer J.C., Carvalheiro L.G. & Sorensen P. 2011. How pollination ecology research can help answer important questions.  Journal of Pollination Ecology 4:68-73.

Carvalheiro L.G., Nicolson S., Seymour C. & Veldtman R. 2010. Pollination services decline with distance from natural habitat even in biodiversity rich areas. Journal of Applied Ecology 47:810–820.

Carvalheiro L.G., Buckley Y.M. & Memmott J. 2010. Diet breadth determines how impacts of invasive plants are propagated through food webs. Ecology 91:1063-1074.

Carvalheiro L.G., Buckley Y.M., Ventim R., Fowler S.V. & Memmott J. 2008. Apparent competition can compromise the safety of highly specific biocontrol agents. Ecology Letters 11:690-700.

Carvalheiro L.G., Barbosa E.R.M. & Memmott J. 2008. Pollinator networks, alien species and the conservation of rare plants: Trinia glauca as a case study. Journal of Applied Ecology 45:1419-1427.

Ongoing Projects:

2014-2018: Cost-Action SUPER-B, Sustainable pollination in Europe - joint research on bees and other pollinators. Project leader: Prof. Jacobus Biesmeijer (Naturalis Biodiversity Center)

2010-2014: EU FP7 project STEP, “Status and Trends of European Pollinators” (244 090, Project coordinator: Prof. Simon Potts (University of Reading, UK).

2010-2014: EU FP7 project SCALES and “Securing the Conservation of biodiversity across Administrative Levels and spatial, temporal, and Ecological Scales” ( Project coordinator: Klaus Henle, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ .

2013-2015: GEF/UN/FAO Global Pollination project. Project collaborators: Dr. Barbara Guemmill-Herren, FAO- Food and Agriculture Organization; Dr. Antonio Saraiva, University of Sao Paulo (Brazil), Dr. Lucas Garibaldi, Laboratorio Ecotono (Argentina).

2012-2014: AgriLand,  UK Insect Pollinator Initiative project (BB/H014934/1). Linking agriculture and land use change to pollinator populations. Project leader: Prof. Bill Kunin, University of Leeds, UK and Prof. Simon Potts, University of Reading, UK.  

2012-2014: Phylogenetic tree shape and the structure of pollination networks. Project leader: Dr. Scott Chamberlain, Simon Fraser University. Funding: CANPOLIN – the Canadian Pollination Initiative & EU FP7 project STEP

2012-2014: Developing and Applying Bayesian statistics to the study of pollination networks. Project leader: Dr. Ayesha Ali, University of Guelph, Canada; Dr. Peter Sorensen, Aarhus University, Denmark Funding: CANPOLIN – the Canadian Pollination Initiative & EU FP7 project STEP

2010-2014: Stability of pollinator diversity and pollination services. Project leader: Dr. Lucas Garibaldi,  Laboratorio Ecotono (Argentina).  


Other Information:


    • Ecology Letters, Current Biology, Journal of Applied Ecology, Journal of Ecology, Oikos, Oecologia, Ecological Applications, Journal of Insect Conservation; and others journals. NERC’s Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability (BESS) programme; FP7 ERA-NET BiodivERsA Call; Research Council of Norway


    • Lectures and organization of practical projects within the MSc course of University of Leiden, module “Orientation on Evolution, Biodiversity and Conservation” organized by Prof. Menno Schilthuizen. 3rd-13th September 2013 

    • Lecture and practical classes within the MSc course of University of Leeds “Advanced Statistics” organized by Prof. Mahesh Sankaran. 16th-18th December 2013 

    • Assistant for 2nd year undergraduate course "Science & Communication " of University of Bristol (2006)

    • Assistant for 1st year undergraduate course “Ecology” of University of Bristol (2004 & 2005)

Student supervision: 4 PhD students (1 full-time; 3 for short periods), 7 MSc Students, and 1 undergraduate students.

PhD students co-supervised:
· Jesús Aguirre-Gutiérrez – University of Amsterdam & Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Netherlands); 2011-2014 (main supervisor: Prof. Koos Biesmeijer)
· Patricia Ferreira – Universidade da Bahia (Brasil) – 6 months in 2013 at Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Netherlands) (main supervisor: Prof. Blandina Vieira)
· Anne Eskildsen – Aarhus University (Denmark) 3 months in 2014 at Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Netherlands) (main supervisor: Dr. Toke Hoye)
· Rob Hendricks – Nijmegen University (Netherlands) 3 months in 2013 at Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Netherlands)

Master students co-supervised:
. Andoni Santader, University of Leiden, 2014 - Role of functional traits in defining pollinator responses to environmental changes(main supervisor: Prof. Koos Biesmeijer)
· Sharina van Boheemen, University of Leiden, 2013/2014 - diversity indexes  (main supervisor: Prof. Koos Biesmeijer)
. Ya-Hsien Huang, University of Leiden, 2013/2014 – effect of fertilization on flower visitation (main supervisor: Prof. Koos Biesmeijer)
· Leon Marshall - Master degree, University of Leiden, 2012/2013 – agri-environmental measures to enhance crop pollinators (main supervisor: Prof. Koos Biesmeijer)
· Ben Mutton-Phillips (Master degree, University of Leiden, 2011) – influence of flower traits on pollination (main supervisor: Prof. Koos Biesmeijer)
· Awraris Getachew (Master degree, University of Pretoria), project: Behavioural respone of honeybees (Apis mellifera scutellata Lep.) to wild pollinators on sunflowers (Helianthus annuus L.) (2008-2010) (main supervisor: Prof. Christian Pirk)
· Gebreamlak Bezabih (Master degree, University of Pretoria), project: Contribution of managed honeybees (Apis mellifera scutellata Lep.) to sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) seed yield and quality (2008-2010) (main supervisor: Prof. Christian Pirk)

Undergraduate students co-supervised:
· Laura Roquer, University of Barcelona 2013 – Facilitation vs competition between wild plants and crops in agro-ecosystems

Participation in organization of a Meta-Analysis of Pollination Deficits Workshop, GEF/UNEP/FAO Project, “Conservation and Management of Pollinators for Sustainable Agriculture, through an Ecosystem Approach”, Sao Paulo University, 22-24 July 2013.
Organization of session on plant-insect interaction for The Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting (NAEM) 2012 (7th and 8th of February 2012).

Research Grants awarded

April 2014: SUPER-B (Cost Action). Project leader: Prof. Koos Biesmeijer Naturalis Biodiversity Center

April 2009 – 1 year Post doctoral fellowship, South African National Biodiversity research Grant. (90 000 ZAR plus maintenance grant)
April 2008 – 1 year Post doctoral fellowship, South African National Biodiversity research Grant (90 000 ZAR plus maintenance grant)
March 2004 – 4 year PhD research grant, Science & Technology Foundation, FCT, Portugal (50 000 Є plus maintenance grant)
July 2003 - Initiation Research Grant (BIC) from Lisbon Botanical Gardens, University of Lisbon Foundation (5600 Є plus research expenses)
May 2003 - Research grant from Faculty of Sciences Foundation, University of Lisbon, Portugal (1400 Є plus field research expenses)
October 2001 - Honours research financial support: University of Lisbon Foundation (~2000 Є) and TROPENBOS Foundation (field research expenses)

April 2007 - Best student presentation on XIIth International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, La Grande Motte, France

June 2013 – Nature Research Highlight related to Carvalheiro et al. 2013. The bees are back in Europe. Nature 498, 8(06 June 2013). doi:10.1038/498008b.