How Loss of Managed Honeybees and Native Pollinators Impact Food Production

Conservation biologist Claire Kremen to give free public lecture at UC Riverside on May 5

Photo shows Claire Kremen.

Claire Kremen is a professor of arthropod diversity at UC Berkeley.Photo credit: Paul Kirchner Studios.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Ecologist and conservation biologist Claire Kremen will give the Jane Block Distinguished Lecture in Conservation Biology at the University of California, Riverside on Monday, May 5.

The hour-long lecture, titled “Restoring Pollinator Communities and Services in Working Agricultural Landscapes,” will take place at 4 p.m. in the auditorium in the Genomics Building.

The lecture is free and open to the public.  Parking on campus costs $6 per day.  Short-term parking is available in marked, numbered spaces in select parking lots on campus at $2 per hour for a maximum of two hours.

In her talk, Kremen, a professor of arthropod diversity in the Department of Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley, will examine how diversifying our farms, from field to landscape scale, can maintain resilient pollinator communities and pollination services, and how this in turn could improve the resilience and sustainability of many other critical ecosystem services in farming landscapes.

“The lecture will inform the public about a growing crisis in food production — the loss of managed honeybees and of our native pollinators,” she said.  “Through crop pollination, these insects improve the production of three-quarters of the different types of fruits and vegetables that we eat, including many foods that supply us with critical micronutrients.  The public will also learn about new research showing how to bring back the native pollinators and support managed honey bees, and how these same techniques have many co-benefits — supporting healthy, sustainable farming practices.”

Kremen’s work focuses on understanding and characterizing the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services. Her lab seeks mechanisms for slowing or preventing the loss of biodiversity — one of the major environmental challenges today.  Her applied research advances the fields of ecology, biodiversity, and agriculture, and resulted in the establishment of a national park in Madagascar.

She is the faculty co-director of the Berkeley Food Institute as well as the Center for Diversified Farming Systems.  She has received numerous awards and honors, including a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship; and a Distinguished Alumni Award, the Durham Academy, Durham, NC.  She is a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences.

The Jane Block Distinguished Lecture in Conservation Biology is named after a widely recognized community leader who has played a significant role in saving lands in Riverside County, getting habitat conservation plans established, and supporting the Center for Conservation Biology at UC Riverside.

Block is past president of the Riverside Land Conservancy, a nonprofit land trust that facilitates the transfer of land from willing private landowners to public ownership. In 1973, she led opposition to the development of Box Springs Canyon, an effort that resulted in the establishment of the Box Springs Mountain Reserve. Block has also spearheaded the preservation of the Santa Rosa Plateau Preserve, the North San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Sycamore Canyon, and San Timoteo Canyon.

At UCR, she is a member of the board of directors of the Center for Sustainable Suburban Development. She and her husband, Richard, created the Jane Block Distinguished Lecture in Conservation Biology, the Jane Block Distinguished Lecture in Women’s Studies Endowed Fund, and the Richard E. Block Distinguished Lecture in Mathematics.

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