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Professor Alison Mercer.

Research Interests

  • The brain and behaviour of honey bees
  • Development genetics
  • The modulatory role of biogenic amines and their contribution to the regulation of neuronal development
  • Olfaction and the central processing of olfactory information
  • Learning and memory

Recent Projects

  • Characterization of dopamine receptors in the brain of the honey bee
  • Biogenic amine modulation of central olfactory neurons in the insect brain
  • Queen retinue pheromone: royal manipulation of worker bee brain and behaviour
  • Development of the olfactory pathways in the brain of the honey bee


Mondet, F., Blanchard, S., Barthes, N., Beslay, D., Bordier, C., Costagliola, G., … Kim, S. H., … Mercer, A. R., & Le Conte, Y. (2021). Chemical detection triggers honey bee defense against a destructive parasitic threat. Nature Chemical Biology, 17, 524-530. doi: 10.1038/s41589-020-00720-3

Iwasaki, J. M., Barratt, B. I. P., Jandt, J. M., Jowett, T. W. D., Lord, J. M., Mercer, A. R., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (2020). Honey bees do not displace foraging bumble bees on nectar-rich artificial flowers. Apidologie, 51, 137-146. doi: 10.1007/s13592-019-00690-z

Kim, S. H., Mercer, A., Mitchell, A., de Miranda, J. R., Ward, V., Mondet, F., & Bostina, M. (2019). Viral infections alter antennal epithelium ultrastructure in honey bees. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, 168, 107252. doi: 10.1016/j.jip.2019.107252

Urlacher, E., Devaud, J.-M., & Mercer, A. R. (2019). Changes in responsiveness to allatostatin treatment accompany shifts in stress reactivity in young worker honey bees. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 205, 51-59. doi: 10.1007/s00359-018-1302-0

Jarriault, D., Fuller, J., Hyland, B. I., & Mercer, A. R. (2018). Dopamine release in mushroom bodies of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) in response to aversive stimulation. Scientific Reports, 8, 16277. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-34460-1

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