Malena, Sibaja Leyton

PhD Student


PhD Subject:

“Using citizen sciences to monitor pollinator health in developing countries”

In recent decades, research in conservation biology and ecosystem services has increasingly relied on citizen science programs. These allow the compilation, on a large spatio-temporal scale, of data on the abundance and/or diversity of species as well as on human activities and human-nature interactions. These citizen science programs can now rely on new technologies for collecting and sharing information, and for analyzing large data sets, which are in full development. New ways are therefore being open to increase transparency between actors in order to promote changes in practices and innovations that preserve and enhance these common goods.
Global concerns about honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony mortality have encouraged the development of citizen science programs to monitor colony losses in recent years. However, several regions around the world are missing among the existing international programs, particularly Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. In response to these gaps, the Latin American consortium SOLATINA has developed its own bee monitoring program in the region since 2016. A unified questionnaire on bee colony losses has been adapted to the climatic conditions of the region and includes other types of beekeeping activities, such as meliponiculture.
The objective of this thesis project is twofold: (1) to investigate potential biotic and abiotic influences on honey bee colony mortality and management practices of producers in Latin America through the continuation of the citizen science program and the processing of data collected in the region; (2) to develop a similar program in Sub-Saharan Africa.

This PhD is funded by the IRD’s PhD grant program called ARTS.

Oral communications:

Sibaja Leyton, M., Antunez, K., Porrini, M., Requier, F. (January 2022). Distribución espacial de las pérdidas de colmenas en América Latina en el periodo 2016-2018. Congreso Internacional “Producción Apícola y Meliponicola Nicaraguense”, Nicaragua.

Sibaja Leyton, M., Antunez, K., Requier, F. (October 2021). Result of the SOLATINA’s survey on bee colony losses. Green School Workshop on Biodiversity and ecosystem services in urban areas; linking values, science and practice, Sergipe Brazil.

Sibaja Leyton, M., Antunez, K., Requier, F. (September 2021) Monitoreo de pérdidas de colonias. III Workshop SoLatInA 2021, Montevideo, Uruguay.

This entry was posted on 14 September 2021, in Personnel.

Stéphane, Aumasson


Participates in the Api Noire Normandie project, which consists of setting up conservatories and fertilisation apiaries for the black bee in Normandy. The aim is to set up sustainable beekeeping using local resources.

This entry was posted on 11 March 2021, in Personnel.

Etienne, Minaud

PhD subject: “Honey bee ecology – Identifying early-warning indicators of colony collapse”


My PhD project aims to develop and use information and telecommunication technologies (ICT) as automatic monitoring of honey bee colony dynamics in order to (1) understand mechanisms underlying winter mortality risk and to (2) identify early-warning indicators that could help beekeepers limiting colony losses and related economic deficits. I carry out field experiments (combining traditional field observations with automated systems using low-cost sensors developed within the project to track bee colony dynamics in continue and in real time) in various sites distributed along a gradient in landscape complexity (agriculture, urban and semi-natural) and a climat gradient (France, Germany, Greece). Field data will be associated with mechanistic models to assess the risk of colony mortality and to identify early-warning indicators.
The final goals are (i) to improve knowledge on honey bee ecology (ii) to analyse the effect of environmental pressures on bee mortalities, and (iii) to derivate decision-support tools for beekeepers to sustain their professional activities.
My PhD project is part of a European Era-Net ICT-AGRI-FOOD project in close collaborations with the University of Würzburg – Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology (Germany) and the Hellenic Agricultural Organization « DEMETER » – Department of Apiculture (Greece).


Survey : « Questionnaire sur l’apiculture de précision en France : quelles sont vos pratiques et qu’en attendez-vous ? », La santé de l’abeille – Numéro 306 Novembre/Décembre 2021

This entry was posted on 3 February 2021, in Personnel.