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.
The ecological needs of 98% of wild pollinator species, however, are not considered in such strategies because they do not visit crop plants. These wild pollinators play a critical role in maintaining the function and diversity of natural ecosystems through their unique relationship with native flowering plant species – the products of native plant pollination, for example, provide food, shelter, and nesting habitat for birds and other wildlife. The continued degradation of native pollination systems therefore poses a significant threat to life on our planet.
Please join Dr. Robert J. Gegear for a discussion on what you can do to help protect and restore our native pollination systems, and the ecological networks that they support, in your own backyard. The lecture will begin at 3:30 but will be preceded by refreshments and fellowship starting at 3:00.
Dr. Robert J. Gegear is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Dr. Gegear’s research focuses on the neuroecology and conservation of plant-pollinator interactions, with particular focus on bumblebees pollination systems. He is also the Director of the Beecology Project, a citizen science effort to rapidly collect ecological data on pollination systems in New England in order to increase the effectiveness of conservation strategies for threatened species. For his community outreach activities related to the Beecology Project, Dr. Gegear was awarded the 2018 Regional Impact Award by the Native Plant Trust (formerly New England Wildflower Society).
This lecture is underwritten by the Lisa Lofland Gould Native Plant Program Fund and cosponsored by Rhode Island Natural History Survey and University of Rhode Island, Master Gardener Program.
The event is FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC — Kindly RSVP BELOW
3:00 to 3:30 — Refreshments & Fellowship*
If you would like to bring refreshments to share, please do!
3:30 to 5:00 — Talk – Ecological pollinator conservation: How do we keep our native ecosystems humming?
*RIWPS Seed starters are busy collecting seeds they will be selling butterfly milkweed, swamp milkweed and cardinal flower seeds that they can harvest.
Additionally RIPWS will be selling its baseball style caps and the 3rd edition of its coloring book, A Walk through the Seasons with Rhode Island Wild Plants Cash, checks, credit cards accepted.
Interested in research on native bees in RI including how you can help with the URI survey of bumble bees in RI? click here
The pharmacy building is located at 7 Greenhouse Rd on the URI Campus in Kingston.
PARKING AND ENTRANCE TO THE BUILDING. See the campus map. Parking lots 9, 6 and 7 are closest and there are a few spots outside Tyler building and the Mallon Center. As it is the weekend you do not need to stop and register at the visitors center and you can park in anyplace where parking is allowed. Note: The main entrance to the Pharmacy Building is under construction. The red arrows on the map indicate the entrances to the building. PDF Campus Map