Dave Goulson

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Dave Goulson
Dave Goulson

Dave Goulson (born 1965)[1][2] FRSE FRES[3] is a British biologist, conservationist, and Professor of Biology (Evolution, Behaviour and Environment) at the University of Sussex. Goulson specialises in the ecology and conservation of bumblebees.

Early life and education[edit]

Goulson's upbringing was in rural Shropshire.[4] He studied Biology at the University of Oxford, and then completed a PhD in butterfly ecology at Oxford Brookes University[3] under the supervision of Denis Owen.

Goulson has stated that when he was born in 1965, the British short-haired bumblebee was quite widespread, but he never saw one before they became extinct in the UK, and he described a causal link between World War II and the decline of the bee, due in part to habitat loss and changes in agricultural practices made necessary to increase wartime food production.[2]


Goulson started his academic career at Southampton University as a lecturer in Biology in 1995, where he began serious study into the life of bumblebees. In 2006, he transferred to the University of Stirling, as Professor of Biological Sciences.[4] In 2010, Goulson was awarded the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council BBSRC Social Innovator of the Year.[5]

In 2013, Goulson moved to the University of Sussex, as Professor of Biology (Evolution, Behaviour and Environment).[3] According to The Spectator, Goulson is a "respected bee expert".[6] In 2015 he was listed at No. 8 in BBC Wildlife magazine's list of the top 50 "Conservation Heroes"

Bumblebee Conservation Trust[edit]

In 2006,[4] Goulson founded the charity the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.[1] Goulson was well aware that too much scientific research was only read by fellow scientists and that there was a need to engage the wider public, "You can publish experiments in high quality journals again and again but they are only read by a few dozen scientists who work in your field. It achieves little or nothing in the real world".[5]


  • 2010. Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council's Social Innovator of the Year Award.
  • 2013. Zoological Society of London's Marsh Award for Conservation Biology.
  • 2014. British Ecological Society's Public Engagement Award.


In addition to over 230 academic papers, Goulson has published:

  • Bumblebees: Their Behaviour and Ecology. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2003. ISBN 0198526075 (2nd edition 2010)
  • Gardening for Bumblebees. Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Stirling, c. 2009. OCLC 320492385
  • A Sting in the Tale. Jonathan Cape, London, 2013. ISBN 0224096893 (Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2013.)[1]
  • A Buzz in the Meadow. Jonathan Cape, London, 2014. ISBN 0224101749
  • Bee Quest. Jonathan Cape, London, 2017. ISBN 1911214136
  • The Garden Jungle. Jonathan Cape, London, 2019. ISBN 9781787331358


According to The Guardian, A Sting in the Tale "offers fascinating insights into the world of the bumblebee".[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Barkham, Patrick. "A Sting in the Tale by Dave Goulson – review". The Guardian (18 May 2013). Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b "A Stinging Tale". The Lady. 30 May 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Prof. Dave Goulson University of Sussex, 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "Dave Goulson". convilleandwalsh.com. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Innovation and innovators part two – David Goulson". BBSRC. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  6. ^ Mason, Mark. "A Sting in the Tale, by Dave Goulson – review". The Spectator (25 May 2013). Retrieved 26 June 2014.