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Luisa Carvalheiro

Dr. L.G. (Luisa) Carvalheiro, Research fellow - Biodiversity Discovery


Email: luisa.carvalheiro@naturalis.nl
Phone: +31 (0)71-56 87 777
Room number: Darwinweg


September 2010- present
Research fellow at School of Biology, University of Leeds & Naturalis Research Center
UL - Prof. William Kunin group
Naturalis Biodiversity Center - Prof. Jacobus Biesmeijer group

April 2008 – August 2010 
Post doctoral fellow University of Pretoria & South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).
UP - Prof. Sue Nicolson group
SANBI - Dr. Ruan Veldtman & Dr. Colleen Seymour group

March 2004 - February 2008
PhD. , School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol,UK.
(awarded April 2008)
Supervisor: Prof. Jane Memmott
(Collaboration at Dr. Yvonne Buckley Lab, University of Queensland/CSIRO, January-August 2005)

July 2003 – Feb. 2004 
Post-graduate research assistant on the Ecology Research Group of Lisbon Botanical Gardens, University of Lisbon (Portugal).
UL - Dr. Rui Figueira and Dr. Cecília Sérgio

May - June 2003 
Post-graduate research assistant on Department of Animal Biology, University of Lisbon
UL: Prof. Octavio Paulo group

Graduation in Biology 
5 year degree: 4 years of lectures on Science Faculty of University of Lisbon (FCUL), Portugal + final year of research project (estagio): FCUL (Prof. Jose A. Quartau) & University of Amsterdam/Tropenbos-Colombia (Prof. Antoine Cleef)


Research interest

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. The main projects I am currently involved are described below.


ecosystem services, crop pollination, bees, pest control, butterflies, hoverflies

Current research topics

Changes in plant-flower visitor communities through time and space

This project evaluates how flower visitors (Bees, Hoverflies, Butterflies) and plants that depend on them for pollination are changing through time and space. More specifically it evaluates how species loss and homogenization processes have evolved in the past 60 years in three European countries (UK, the Netherlands and Belgium) at local, regional and country levels.

This project is part of STEP project (Status and Trends of European Pollinators) and runs in collaboration with several researchers in EIS, FLORON, Alterra/WUR, De Vlinderstichting,INBO/BioBel, KULeuven, BSBI.

Effect of plant floral and population traits on flower visitation patterns

This project investigates if there are traits (of the flowers themselves and/or of plant population) that regulate visitation frequency and the influence ability (the fraction of the flower visitors visiting one flower species that are likely to feed also on another species).

This project is part of STEP project (Status and Trends of European Pollinators) and runs in collaboration with several researchers worldwide

Ecosystem Services - pollination and pest control

This research evaluates how agriculture depends on pollination and pest control services and how farming management measures can maximize such services.


Meta-analysis of crop pollination deficit
Project collaborators: Dr. Barbara Guemmill-Herren (FAO- Food and Agriculture Organization); Dr. Antonio Saraiva (University of São Paulo, Brazil), Dr. Lucas Garibaldi (Laboratorio Ecotono, Argentina), and many other collaborators in South America, Africa, Europe and Asia. 2013- ongoing.

Pollination services: impacts and management
Project leader: Dr. Lucas Garibaldi (Laboratorio Ecotono, Argentina). 2010-ongoing.

Developing and Applying Bayesian statistics to the study of pollination networks (within CANPOLIN project)
Project leaders: Dr. Ayesha Ali (University of Guelph, Canada); Dr. Peter Sorensen (Aarhus University, Denmark). 2011-ongoing.

Agriland. Linking agriculture and land use change to pollinator populations
Project leaders: Prof. Bill Kunin (University of Leeds, UK) and Prof. Simon Potts (University of Reading, UK). 2012- ongoing.

Phylogenetic tree shape and the structure of pollination networks (within CANPOLIN project). (2012- ongoing)
Project collaborators: Dr. Scott Chamberlain, Prof. Elizabeth Elle,Simon Fraser University, Canada), Dr. Jana Vamosi, Prof. Diego Vazquez

Ethnobotanic – medicinal plants
Project leader: Dr. Tinde van Andel (Naturalis Bioviversity Center, Netherlands). 2012.

Modeling restoration schemes of an Ecosystem Service to degraded landscapes: Native Bees and Crop Pollination
Project leaders: Dr. Christina Kennedy, Dr. Eric Lonsdorf, Prof. Claire Kremen, Dr. Neal Williams (University of California, USA). 2010-2013.

Supervision PhDs


  • 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)



  • 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 Samkaran. 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).

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)
Available student projects



Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Roger N., Moerman R., Carvalheiro L.G., Aguirre‐Guitiérrez J., Jacquemart A.L., Kleijn D., Lognay G., Moquet L., Quinet M., Rasmont P., Richel A., Vanderplanck M., Michez D. 2017. Impact of pollen resources drift on common bumble bees in NW Europe. Global Change Biology 23: 68-76.
Go to website (DOI)

Aguirre-Gutiérrez J., Kissling W.D., Biesmeijer J.C.,WallisDeVries M.F.,Reemer M., Carvalheiro L.G. 2017. Historical changes in the importance of climate and land use as determinants of Dutch pollinator distributions. Journal of Biogeography 44: 696–707.
Go to website (URI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Aguirre-Gutiérrez J., Kissling W.D., Carvalheiro .G., WallisDevries M.F.; Franzén M., Biesmeijer J.C. 2016. Functional traits help to explain half-century long shifts in pollinator distributions. Scientific Reports 6: 24451.
Go to website (DOI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Senapathi D., Carvalheiro L.G., Biesmeijer J.C., Dodson C.A, Evans R.L., McKerchar M., Morton R.D., Moss E.D., Roberts S.P.M., Kunin W.E., Potts S.G. 2015. The impact of over 80 years of land cover changes on bee and wasp pollinator communities in England. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 282: 20150294.
Go to website (URI)

Marshall L., Carvalheiro L.G., Aguirre-Gutierrez J., Bos M., Groot G.A. de, Kleijn D., Potts S.G., Reemer M., Roberts S., Scheper J., Biesmeijer J.C. 2015. Testing projected wild bee distributions in agricultural habitats: predictive power depends on species traits and habitat type. Ecology and Evolution 5: 4426-4436.
Go to website (DOI)

Aguirre-Gutierrez J., Biesmeijer J.C., Loon E.E. van, Reemer M., WallisDeVries M.F., Carvalheiro L.G. 2015. Susceptibility of pollinators to ongoing landscape changes depends on landscape history. Diversity and Distributions 21: 1129-1140.
Go to website (DOI)

Eskildsen A., Carvalheiro L.G., Kissling W.D., Biesmeijer J.C., Schweiger O., Hoye T.T. 2015. Ecological specialization matters: long-term trends in butterfly species richness and assemblage composition depend on multiple functional traits. Diversity and Distributions 21: 792-802.
Go to website (DOI)

Ferreira P.A., Boscolo D., Carvalheiro L.G., Biesmeijer J.C., Rocha P.L.B., Viana B.F. 2015. Responses of bees to habitat loss in fragmented landscapes of Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest. Landscape Ecology 30: 2067-2078.
Go to website (DOI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Barbosa E.R.M., Langevelde F. van, Tomlinson K.W., Carvalheiro L.G., Kirkman K., Bie S. de, Prins H.H.T. 2014. Tree species from different functional groups respond differently to environmental changes during establishment. Oecologia 174: 1345-1357.
Go to website (DOI)

Steward P.R., Shackelford G., Carvalheiro L.G., Benton T.G., Garibaldi L.A., Sait S.M. 2014. Pollination and biological control research: are we neglecting two billion smallholders?. Agriculture & Food Security 3: art. 5, p. 1-13.
Go to website (DOI)

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

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.
Go to website (DOI)

Chamberlain S., Vazquez D.P., Carvalheiro L.G., Elle E., Vamosi J.C. 2014. Phylogenetic tree shape and the structure of mutualistic networks. Journal of Ecology 102: 1234-1243.
Go to website (DOI)

Garibaldi L.A., Carvalheiro L.G. 2014. From research to action: practices to enhance crop yield through wild pollinators. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12: 439–447.
Go to website (DOI)

Carvalheiro L.G., Biesmeijer J.C., Benadi G., Fründ J., Stang M., Bartomeus I., C.N. Kaiser-Bunbury, Baude M., Gomes S.I.F., Merckx V., Baldock K.C.R., Bennett A.T.D., Boada R., Bommarco R., Cartar R., Chacoff N., Dänhardt J., Dicks L.V., Dormann C.F., Ekroos J., Henson K.S.E., Holzschuh A., Junker R.R., Lopezaraiza-Mikel M., Memmott J., Montero-Castaño A., Nelson I.L., Petanidou T., Power E.F., Rundlöf, Smith H.G., Stout J.C., Temitope K., Tscharntke T., Tscheulin T., Vilà M., Kunin W.E. 2014. The potential for indirect effects between co-flowering plants via shared pollinators depends on resource abundance, accessibility and relatedness. Ecology Letters 17: 1389-1399.
Go to website (URI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Andel T. van, Carvalheiro L.G. 2013. Why urban citizens in developing countries use traditional medicines: the case of Suriname. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (eCAM) 2013: 687197.
Go to website (DOI)

Aguirre Gutierrez J., Carvalheiro L.G., Polce C., Loon E.E. van, Raes N., Reemer M., Biesmeijer J.C. 2013. Fit-for-Purpose: Species Distribution Model Performance Depends on Evaluation Criteria - Dutch Hoverflies as a Case Study. PLOS ONE 8: e63708.
Go to website (DOI)

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., Dudenhoeffer 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., Rundlof M., Saez A., Steffan-Dewenter I., Taki H., Viana Blandina 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.
Go to website (DOI)

Carvalheiro L.G., Kunin W.E., Keil P., Aguirre Gutierrez J., Ellis W.N., Fox R., Groom Q., Hennekens S., Landuyt W. van, Maes D., Meutter F. van de, Michez D., Rasmont P., Ode B., Potts S.G., Reemer M., Roberts S.P.M., Schaminee J., Wallis-DeVries M.F., Biesmeijer J.C. 2013. Species richness declines and biotic homogenisation have slowed down for NW-European pollinators and plants. Ecology Letters 16: 870-878.
Go to website (DOI)

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., Dudenhoeffer J.H., Freitas B.M., Ghazoul J., Greenleaf S., Hipolito J., Holzschuh A., Howlett B., Isaacs R., Javorek S.K., Kennedy C.M., Krewenka K.M., Krishnan S., Mandelik Y., Mayfield M.M., Motzke I., Munyuli Th., Nault B.A., Otieno M., Petersen J., Pisanty G., Potts S.G., Rader R., Ricketts T.H., Rundlof M., Seymour C.L., Schueepp C., Szentgyoergyi 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.
Go to website (DOI)

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.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Carvalheiro L.G., Seymour C.L., Nicolson S.W., 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.
Go to website (DOI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Garibaldi L.A., Steffan-Dewenter I., Kremen C., Morales J.M., Bommarco R., Cunningham S.A., Carvalheiro L.G., Chacoff N.P., Dudenhoeffer 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., Szentgyoergyi H., Viana B.F., 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.
Go to website (DOI)

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.
Go to website (DOI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Carvalheiro L.G., Seymour C.L., Veldtman R., Nicolson S.W. 2010. Pollination services decline with distance from natural habitat even in biodiversity-rich areas. Journal of Applied Ecology 47: 810-820.
Go to website (DOI)

Carvalheiro L.G., Buckley Y.M., Memmott J. 2010. Diet breadth influences how the impact of invasive plants is propagated through food webs. Ecology 91: 1063-1074.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

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.
Go to website (DOI)

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.
Go to website (DOI)


Chapters in books

Carvalheiro L.G., Buckley Y.M., Ventim R., Memmott J. 2007. Assessing indirect impacts of biocontrol agents on native biodiversity: a community level approach. 91-94: CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK.