Presenter: Robert Gegear, WPI Department of Biology and Biotechnology
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 to maintain pollination services to crop plants. However, the overwhelming majority of current strategies do not consider the keystone role that pollinators play in natural ecosystems, making them an ineffective tool for maintaining and restoring biodiversity. Dr. Gegear will discuss the importance of developing an ecologically-focused approach to developing and maintaining your garden, citing examples from his ongoing field research in Massachusetts. He will also provide information on how to identify local bumblebee species in order to help you assess the ecological 'friendliness' of your garden. After the presentation, join Dr. Gegear in a walk through the gardens to learn how your new knowledge can be put into practice.