Dr. Leslie Saul-Gershenz is Associate Director of Research, Wild Energy Initiative of the John Muir Institute of the Environment at UC Davis where she researches native solitary bees and their nest parasites. She will discuss several recent studies that have documented a large decline in insect abundance, biodiversity, and biomass in Europe, Puerto Rico, and California, looking at changes in insect populations over a 30-year period. Each study used different methodologies and pointed to different causes of declines. She will also speak about her current bee study to understand the impact of utility-scale solar energy development in California’s deserts, and look at how activities outside protected areas affect protected areas, such as national parks and reserves. Insects, plants, and underground resources are inseparable within their ecosystems; conservation management policies need to reflect these complex relationships.
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