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Department of Plant Sciences


Research Overview

Hosted in Plant Sciences and overseen by Julian Hibberd, Kristina’s PhD is carried out across different departments and groups in Cambridge (SLCU, Chemistry, Biochemistry and Plant Sciences). Her project focuses on how bees perceive shapes and colours, how petal-epidermal cell shapes develop and how overall flower shape and ultrastructure of epidermal cells impact flower colouration, flower microclimate and pollinator sensory ecology. Of particular interest is how bees perceive symmetry in flowers and how macro- and micro-symmetrical flower structures impact pollinator sensory ecology. While Bombus terrestris serves as a model organism to establish how interrelated flower cues affect the visiting bumblebees, Eschscholzia is used to analyse micro-symmetrical structures on the petal epidermis from a developmental, biochemical and optics point of view.


Kristina joined the Department in 2020 as a German Academic Scholarship Foundation PhD Fellow. She completed her undergraduate studies at Imperial College, London (BSc Biology), where she worked on developmental genetics in C. elegans, particularly TGF-β signalling. She did her MSc under Klaus Lunau at HHU Düsseldorf, investigating visual perception in bees, drawing on sensory ecology/pollination biology/behavioural biology/psychophysics and botany.

Kristina also holds an MA from the Royal College of Art, London, and Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, and her activity in that arena can be found on her website here. Kristina has held academic positions at different universities: Tutor at Imperial College London; Assistant Research Fellow at the University of Otago, New Zealand; Research Associate at the Institute for Art and Art Theory at the University of Cologne, Germany; Assistant Professor at Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, Germany; Visiting Lecturer at HGK Basel, Switzerland; and Supervisor at Queens’ College, Cambridge. She was a professor and co-coordinator of the MA Fine Arts programme at Umeå Academy of Fine Arts, Sweden, from 2021 to 2023. Kristina is presently professor in Sculpture at Karlsruhe Academy of Fine Arts in Germany.


Postgraduate Student
Ms Kristina  Buch

Contact Details

Email address: 
Department of Plant Sciences,
Downing Street,
01223 333934