Research projects

Scientific research underpins all we do here at the Bug Farm. The whole site is managed following results from our research, putting science into practice in terms of the working farm, food product development and visitor experience.

We work with students, professionals and universities from the UK and abroad, carrying out world-class, cutting-edge research, largely on farmland biodiversity, ecosystem services provided by wildlife and the future of sustainable food production. Our work spans the food chain, with projects ranging from sustainable land management to consumer attitudes to novel foods.

Our farmland (livestock and arable), wildlife habitat and the two Sites of Special Scientific Interest that border the land, provide the perfect base for fieldwork. We also have two custom built labs that allow for analysing data on site. Whilst we are not an academic institution, we deliver collaborative projects working alongside top international universities and can provide co-supervision of undergraduate, MSc and PhD/DPhil students.

Some of our recent projects include…

  • Exploring children’s changing perceptions of entomophagy

Academic institution: University of the West of England

Academic collaborators: Dr Verity Jones

  • The effect of arable field margin placement on beneficial invertebrates

Academic institution: University of Oxford

Academic collaborators: Professor Thomas Hesselberg, Professor Owen Lewis

Students: Alec Denny (MSc project), Lara Sarrionandia-Thomas (BA project)

  • Cross-pollination project: Revaluing pollinators through arts and science collaboration

Academic institutions: University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Aberystwyth University

Partners: National Botanic Garden of Wales, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Buglife

  • The application of an ecosystem services framework to estimate the economic value of dung beetles to the U.K. cattle industry

Academic institution: Aberystwyth University

Academic collaborators: Professor Mike Christie

Students: Dr Warwick Wainwright (MSc project)

  • Response of invertebrate communities to intensive management of improved pasture ecosystems

Academic institution: University of Oxford

Academic collaborator: Professor Owen Lewis

Students: Dr Paul Manning (DPhil project) – Rhodes Scholar

  • Soil structure and biological activity under contrasting farming methods of soybean in Brazil

Academic institution: Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Brazil

Academic collaborator: Professor Marcelo Augusto Batista

  • Factors affecting ecosystem service provision by dung-associated invertebrates

Academic institution: University of Oxford

Academic collaborator: Professor Owen Lewis

Publications include:

Jones, V. & Beynon, S.A. (2020) Edible insect: Applying Bakhtin’s carnivalesque to understand how education practices can help transform young people’s eating habits. Children’s Geographies, DOI: 10.1080/14733285.2020.1718608.

Manning, P., Lewis, O.T.,  Beynon, S.A. (2018) Effects of the veterinary anthelmintic moxidectin on dung beetle survival and dung removal. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 10, 810-817.

Manning, P., Beynon, S.A., Lewis O.T. (2017) Quantifying immediate and delayed effects of anthelmintic exposure on ecosystem functioning supported by a common dung beetle species. PLoS ONE. e0182730.

Manning, P., Slade, E.S., Beynon, S.A., Lewis, O.T. (2017) Effect of dung beetle species richness and chemical perturbation on multiple ecosystem functions. Ecological Entomology. 42, 577-586.

Beynon, S. A., Wainwright, W. A., & Christie, M. (2015). The application of an ecosystem services framework to estimate the economic value of dung beetles to the UK cattle industry. Ecological Entomology, 40(S1), 124-135.

Manning, P., Slade, E.M., Beynon, S.A. & Lewis, O.T. (2015) Functionally rich dung beetle assemblages are required to provide multiple ecosystem services. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 218, 87-94.

Beynon, S.A., Slade, E.M., Mann, D.J. & Lewis, O.T. (2012) Species-rich dung beetle communities buffer ecosystem services in perturbed agro-ecosystems. Journal of Applied Ecology, 49, 1365-1372.

Beynon, S.A., Peck, M., Mann, D.J. & Lewis, O.T. (2012) Consequences of alternative and conventional endoparasite control in cattle for dung-associated invertebrates and ecosystem functioning. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 162, 36-44.

Beynon, S.A. (2012) Potential environmental consequences of administration of anthelmintics to sheep, Veterinary Parasitology,189, 125-135.

Beynon, S.A. (2012) Potential environmental consequences of administration of ectoparasiticides to sheep, Veterinary Parasitology, 189, 113-124.

Wall, R. & Beynon, S. (2012) Area-wide impact of macrocyclic lactone parasiticides in cattle dung. Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 26, 1-8.