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Dr. Leon Marshall


F.R.S.-FNRS Postdoctoral Fellow - Chargé de Recherches FNRS

Prof. Nicolas J. Vereecken's research group at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium

Tel: +32 (0)2 650 60 81


Profile & curriculum

  • BSc Biology and Statistics - University of Auckland, New Zealand (2006-09)

  • Postgraduate Diploma of Science Biosecurity - University of Auckland, New Zealand (2010)

  • Masters in Biology - University of Leiden, Netherlands (2012-2014) 

  • PhD - Geography Department UNamur, Namur, Belgium (2014-1018)

Research interests

  • How land use and climate changes affect biodiversity across time and space and how these changes are influenced by traits, phylogeny and interactions.

  • Statistical techniques and tools for analyzing and modeling species distribution and diversity.

  • Global patterns of insular wild bee diversity and distribution.

  • The influence of environmental changes on wild bees as crop pollinators.

Research project

My research at the ULB is focused on patterns of diversity and distribution of wild bees in Europe and globally in the past, present and future.


As part of CliPS – “Climate change and effect on Pollination Services" (2018-2021) we will examine the influence of future environmental changes on plant-pollinator interactions. We will use long-term collection records of wild bees combined with high resolution climate and land use change projections in a species distribution modeling approach to examine if important wild bee crop pollinators will match the spatial and temporal distribution of the crops they pollinate. Furthermore, we will combine these results with morphological information from wild bees to see if future communities match the needs of the surrounding crops.


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In parallel we will examine the global distribution of wild bees on islands. We aim to create a global database aggregating geographic characteristics of islands and measures of wild bee diversity. Using this database our goal is to understand  the factors which explain global patterns of species richness, endemism and turnover vs. nestedness of wild bees on islands. Furthermore, for selected island groups we plan to examine the historical and potential climate change on the wild bee fauna.


  • Tanis, M., Marshall, L., Biesmeijer, J.C., & van Kolfschoten, L. (2019) Grassland management for meadow birds in the Netherlands is unfavourable to pollinators. Basic and Applied Ecology. In press.

  • Gérard, M, Martinet, B, Maebe, K, Marshall, L, Smagghe, G, Vereecken, NJ, Vray, S, Rasmont, P, & Michez, D. (2019) Shift in size of bumblebee queens over the last century. Global Change Biology, 00: 1–11.

  • Marshall, L., Biesmeijer, J.C., Rasmont, P., Vereecken, N.J., Dvorak, L., Fitzpatrick, U., Francis, F., Neumayer, J., Ødegaard, F., Paukkunen, J.P.T., Pawlikowski, T., Reemer, M., Roberts, S.P.M., Straka, J., Vray, S. & Dendoncker, N. (2018). The interplay of climate and land use change affects the distribution of EU bumblebees. Global Change Biology, 24, 101-116.

  • Aguirre-Gutiérrez, J., WallisDeVries, M.F., Marshall, L., van’t Zelfde, M., Villalobos-Arambula, A.R., Boekelo, B., Bartholomeus, H., Franzen, M., & Biesmeijer, J.C. (2017) Butterflies show different functional and species diversity in relationship to vegetation structure and land use. Global Ecology and Biogeography 26:1126–1137.


  • Marshall, L., Carvalheiro, L.G., Aguirre-Gutiérrez, J., Bos, M., de Groot, G.A., Kleijn, D., Potts, S.G., Reemer, M., Roberts, S., Scheper, J. & Biesmeijer, J.C. (2015) Testing projected wild bee distributions in agricultural habitats: predictive power depends on species traits and habitat type. Ecology and Evolution 5(19): 4426–4436.

  • Marshall, L., Vereecken, N.J., Aguirre-Gutiérrez, J., Noël, G., Roberts, S.P.M, Weekers, T., van ’t Zelfde, M., Dendoncker, N. & Biesmeijer, J.C. (2020). Wild bee assembly patterns: the importance of co-occurrence, habitat filtering, traits, and phylogeny. In prep.

All publications are available upon request or through ResearchGate.

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