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Department of Plant Sciences


Research Group


Research Overview

Kristina’s PhD project focuses on how bees perceive shapes and colours, how petal-epidermal cell shapes have evolved, and how they develop. 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 an evolutionary and developmental point of view.


Kristina joined the lab 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 has held academic positions at different universities to date: Tutor at Imperial College London, Assistant Research Fellow at the University of Otago, Research Associate at the Institute for Art and Art Theory at the University of Cologne, Assistant Professor at Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, Visiting Lecturer at HGK Basel and Supervisor at Queens’ College Cambridge. She is a professor of Fine Arts at Umeå University. Kristina also holds an MA from the Royal College of Art, London, and Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and her activity in that register can be found here.
Postgraduate Student
Ms Kristina  Buch

Contact Details

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