Professor Geraldine Wright

Research Interests

I study how insects detect, learn about, and regulate their intake of nutrients. My lab specifically investigates the nutrition and physiology of honeybees and bumblebees using an approach that spans four levels: (1) chemical sensation: the organizational principles of the chemical senses of taste and smell; (2) learning: how the bee brain learns to associate chemical cues with food; (3) feeding: how individual insects regulate their intake of essential nutrients; and (4) ecology: how ingested chemical compounds produced by plants (or modern agriculture) affect sensation, learning, and feeding. 

Selected Publications

Miriyala, A., S. Kessler, C. Rind and G.A. Wright. 2018. Burst firing in bee gustatory neurons prevents sensory adaptation. Current Biology 28: 1585-1594

Wright, G.A., S.W. Nicolson, and S. Shafir. 2018. Nutritional ecology and physiology of honeybees. Annual Review of EntomologyDOI: 10.1146/annurev-ento-020117-043423

Power, E.F., D. Stabler, A.M. Borland, J. Barnes, and G.A.Wright. 2018 Analysis of nectar from low-volume flowers: a comparison of collection methods for free amino acids. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12928

Stabler, D., E. F. Power, A.M. Borland, J. Barnes, G.A.Wright. 2017. A method for analysing small samples of floral pollen for free and protein-bound amino acids. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12867

Barlow, S.E., G. A. Wright, C. Ma, M. Barberis, I. W. Farrell,E. C. Marr,A. Brankin, B. M. Pavlik & P. C. Stevenson. 2017 Distasteful nectar deters floral robbery. Current Biology 27: 2552-2558

Simcock, N., L. Wakeling, D. Ford, G.A.Wright. 2017 Effects of age and nutritional state on the expression of gustatory receptors in the honeybee (Apis mellifera). PLoS ONEDOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0175158

Stevenson, P.C., G.A. Wright, and S.W. Nicolson. 2016. Plant secondary metabolites in nectar: impacts on pollinators and ecological functions. Functional Ecology31: 65-75.

Vaudo, A., D. Stabler, H. Patch, J. Tooker, C. Grozinger, and G.A. Wright. 2016 Bumblebees regulate their intake of essential protein and lipid pollen macronutrients. Journal of Experimental Biology219: 3962-3970. 

Wright, G.A. 2016. To feed or not to feed: circuits involved in the control of feeding in insects. Current Opinion in Neurobiology41: 87-91

Kessler, S., E.J. Tiedeken, K. Simcock, S. Derveau, J. Mitchell, S. Softley, J. Stout, G.A. Wright. 2015. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides. Nature521:74-76.

Stabler, D., P. Paoli, S.W. Nicolson, and G.A.Wright. 2015. Nutrient balancing of the adult worker bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) depends on its dietary source of essential amino acids. Journal of Experimental Biology218:793-802

Paoli, P., L. Wakeling, G.A. Wright and D. Ford. 2014. The dietary proportion of essential amino acids and Sir2 influence lifespan in honeybees. AGE36(3): 1239-1247

Paoli, P., D. Donley, D. Stabler, A. Nath, S.W. Nicolson, S.J. Simpson, and G.A. Wright. 2014. Nutritional balance of essential amino acids and carbohydrates of the adult worker honeybee depends on age.Amino Acids 46(6): 1449-1458

Wright, G.A., D. Baker, M Palmer, D. Stabler, J.A. Mustard, E. Power, A.M. Borland, and P. Stevenson. 2013. Caffeine in floral nectar enhances a pollinator’s memory of reward. Science 339: 1202-1204

Bateson, M., S. Desire, S. Gartside, and G.A.Wright. 2011. Agitated honeybees exhibit pessimistic cognitive biases. Current Biology 21:1070-1073

Wright, G.A., J.A. Mustard, N. K. Simcock, A. A. R. Ross-Taylor, L. D. McNicolas, A. Popescu, and F. Marion-Poll. 2010. Parallel reinforcement pathways for conditioned food aversion in the honeybee. Current Biology20: 2234-2240
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