Sarah Arnold

Dr Sarah Arnold MA (Cantab), PhD (Lond)

Senior Lecturer in Insect Behaviour and Ecology

Key details

Dr Sarah Arnold

Senior Lecturer in Insect Behaviour and Ecology


Dr Sarah Arnold joined the University of Greenwich in 2010, after completing her PhD in sensory ecology in the Chittka Lab at Queen Mary, University of London. Her background at Queen Mary and, that at the University of Cambridge was in pollinator behaviour (Dyer et al. 2006, Nature) and the evolution of flower colours (Arnold et al. 2010, PLoS ONE). Dr Arnold investigated trends in the colour composition of flowering plant communities, and the responses of bees to flower colours under variable light conditions, finding that bees show preferences for familiar illuminant types when foraging (Arnold et al. 2012, J Exp Biol).

Since joining the Natural Resources Institute (NRI), Dr Arnold has continued to develop her interest in pollinators, studying the effects of the composition of pollen and nectar (Arnold et al. 2014, J Chem Ecol) on pollinators, their use of odour cues (Arnold et al. in prep) and how environment influences pollinator populations (Arnold et al. 2018, Agr Ecosys Environ). Additionally, she works on the ecology and behaviour of stored product pests, investigating the factors determining how they orient towards food material (Arnold et al. 2012, PLoS ONE; 2015, Bull Ent Res; 2016, Peer J) and the potential of pesticidal plants and other control methods in pre- and post-harvest pest management. Dr Arnold is particularly interested in how the behaviour of storage pests can be affected by their own life history (e.g. age, morph) and interactions between different cue types (colour, odour).

Dr Arnold is a member of NRI's Agriculture, Health & Environment Department, working primarily with the pest behaviour, chemical ecology and ecosystems services research groups. She been lead or co-author on publications about flower colour evolution, insect ecology, and pollinator and storage pest behaviour in international peer-reviewed journals, and is one of the developers and managers of the Floral Reflectance Database.

A full staff profile can be seen on the Natural Resources Institute website.