Public Talk: Is It the Insect Apocalypse?
Thursday, Nov. 16, 7:30-9 p.m.
306 Mount Scio Rd.; online
About the talk:
Insects and other arthropods (like spiders and millipedes) are important parts of all terrestrial ecosystems. They play a variety of critical ecological roles: decomposers contribute to nutrient recycling and soil aeration, nectar-feeders provide pollination services, predators help to control insect pests, and many animals (like swallows and other birds) depend on insects for food. Climate change and human activities are contributing to insect declines worldwide. Conserving insects is important for food security and ecosystem function, but we cannot protect species if we don’t know which ones are present, and where. To address this challenge, Nature NL has started an insect monitoring program as part of a collaboration with the North American Insect Abundance Network and the Botanical Garden. This talk will introduce the project and the importance of insects in food webs, present preliminary results, and lay out future plans for continuing to learn about the diversity of insects in Newfoundland and Labrador.
About the speaker:
Dr. Catherine Scott is a behavioural ecologist and arachnologist who studies the communication, mating, and foraging behaviour of spiders and other arthropods. She completed her MSc at Simon Fraser University and her PhD at the University of Toronto Scarborough, where her research was focused primarily on the western black widow spider. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at McGill University and an Honourary Postdoctoral Fellow at Memorial University. A former arachnophobe, she is passionate about trying to shift perceptions about these fascinating creatures by engaging in science communication online and in person. She blogs at spiderbytes.org.
Presented by Memorial University Botanical Garden; Nature N.L.