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Economics, Ecology, and the Plight of our Native Bees by Dr. Robert J. Gegear

  • Wednesday, May 23, 2018
    PM – 8 PM

Monthly PresentationVideo Archive

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Pollinators are declining at an unprecedented rate worldwide due to human-induced rapid environmental change. These declines pose a significant threat to our food supply and consequently, there has been major focus on the development and implementation of conservation strategies aimed to increase pollinator abundance in agricultural areas. However, the ecological needs of 98% of wild pollinator species are not considered in such strategies because they do not play a major role in crop pollination. Without these ‘keystone’ wild pollinator species, we would lose most of our native flowering plants and the animals that use them for food, shelter and nesting sites, eventually causing ecosystems to collapse. Please join Dr. Robert J. Gegear for a discussion on what you can do to help preserve our native pollinator diversity and assess the ecological ‘friendliness’ of pollinator habitat at any spatial scale.

Dr. Robert J. Gegear has been studying the neuroecology and conservation of pollinator-plant systems native to North America for almost 30 years. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology and Biotechnology at WPI and Director of the New England Beecology Research Program, which aims to use citizen scientists in order to collect large amounts of ecological data on bumblebees and the plants that they pollinate across the state. His efforts are already greatly accelerating the development of effective conservation and restoration strategies for threatened bumblebee species in Eastern North America.