Dr Manu Saunders

Postdoctoral Research Fellow - School of Environmental and Rural Science

Manu Saunders

Phone: +61 2 6773 1794

Email: manu.saunders@une.edu.au

Twitter: @ManuSaunders


My research focuses on the ecology of ecosystem services, which are the benefits people get from nature. I am interested in how insect species create functional links between habitats and people, and how land use change and agricultural management influences biodiversity and ecosystem processes at local and landscape scales.


  • 2014 Doctor of Philosophy (Ecology), Charles Sturt University Albury NSW. Title: Wild pollinator communities of native woodlands and commercial almond plantations in a semi-arid Australian landscape: Implications for conservation of insects and ecosystem services.
  • 2008 Bachelor of Environmental Science (Ecology) Hons, University of Queensland Brisbane Qld.
  • 2001 Bachelor of Arts (English, Communications), University of Queensland Brisbane Qld.

Teaching Areas

  • Ecology,
  • Natural resource management.

Research Interests

  • Ecosystem services,
  • Agroecology,
  • Pollination ecology,
  • Insect ecology,
  • Landscape ecology,
  • Science communication.

Ecology is not a dirty word - blog


Google Scholar

Selected Publications

Saunders ME, Luck GW (2016) Limitations of the ecosystem services versus disservices dichotomy. Conservation Biology 30:1363-1365.

Saunders ME, Luck GW (2016) Combining costs and benefits of animal activities to assess net yield outcomes in apple orchards. PLoS One 11(7): e0158618.

Peisley RK, Saunders ME, Luck GW (2016) Cost-benefit trade-offs of bird activity in apple orchards. PeerJ DOI 10.7717/peerj.2179.

Smith TJ, Saunders ME (2016) Honey bees: the queens of mass media, despite minority rule among insect pollinators. Insect Conservation & Diversity DOI: 10.1111/icad.12178.

Saunders ME, Peisley RK, Rader R, Luck GW (2016) Pollinators, predators and pests: ecological tradeoffs in agroecosystems. AMBIO 45:4-14.

Saunders ME (2016) Resource connectivity for beneficial insects in landscapes dominated by monoculture tree crop plantations. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 14:82-99.

Peisley RK, Saunders ME, Luck GW (2015) A systematic review of the benefits and costs of bird and insect activity in agroecosystems. Springer Science Reviews 3:113-125.

Saunders ME (2015) Stone structures as potential aggregation sites for coccinellids in managed landscapes. The Victorian Naturalist, 132:86-88.

Saunders ME, Luck GW, Gurr GM (2015) Keystone resources available to wild pollinators in a winter-flowering tree crop plantation. Agricultural and Forest Entomology 17:90-101.

Saunders ME, Luck GW (2014) Spatial and temporal variation in pollinator community structure relative to a woodland-almond plantation edge. Agricultural and Forest Entomology 16:369-381.

Saunders ME, Luck GW, Mayfield MM (2013) Almond orchards with living ground cover host more wild insect pollinators. Journal of Insect Conservation, 17:1011-1025.

Saunders ME, Luck GW (2013) Pan trap catches of pollinator insects vary with habitat. Australian Journal of Entomology, 52:106-113.

Book Chapters

Cunningham S, Saunders ME, Rader R (2016) Chapter 3: Agricultural Beescapes, in AgGuide: Australian Native Bees, NSW Department of Primary Industries.