Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Conservation as Innovation:
The Role of Biodiversity in Agriculture
Often the goals of conservation organizations and the goals of farmers are seen as in opposition. But it is increasingly evident that biodiversity can provide a myriad of ecosystem services that can reduce costs for farmers and increase resilience and stability in agro-ecosystems. This can include increasing access to pollination services, pest management from native natural enemies and even mitigation of the effects of extreme weather events such as heat waves or drought.
Using examples from her own work and the work of others, Sandra will discuss the ways in which biodiversity and restoration efforts on farms can benefit farmers while simultaneously contributing to biodiversity conservation. She will further discuss how this could apply to challenges faced by farmers within the Fraser Valley, as this approach provides opportunities for collaboration between different groups to contribute to both conservation and sustainability in agriculture.
Dr. Sandra Gillespie is an Assistant Professor in the Biology department at UFV and an EFCIE Faculty Associate. She helps students understand the basics of ecology and complex data and models in community ecology. Dr. Gillespie received her bachelor’s in Biology from Simon Fraser University in 2005, then moved to the University of Massachusetts where she received a joint PhD in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Entomology in 2011, focusing on disease ecology in bumblebees. Since then she has worked as a postdoc at the University of California, Davis, studying pollination issues in agriculture, and at Simon Fraser University, studying the conservation impacts of invasive plants on pollinators. Her current research at UFV is a logical extension of these projects, examining questions related to both pollinator conservation and agricultural issues, while providing students with meaningful research experiences.
As a member of EFCIE, Dr. Gillespie brings expertise in a number of areas including statistics and field research, the application of ecological principles to applied problems in agriculture, and conservation issues surrounding bumblebees specifically and pollinators more broadly. She is an enthusiastic mentor in all these areas and welcomes the opportunity to both share her expertise and learn from other members of the centre.
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Webinar: Conservation as InnovationDate(s): Wednesday, October 20
Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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