THE ENERGY AND RESOURCES GROUP SPRING 2015 COLLOQUIUM SERIES (ER295) PRESENTS
Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management
“Pollinators as a poster-child for diversified farming systems”
Both managed and native pollinators have suffered recent declines, leading to concerns that crop pollination will suffer in the future, particularly since an increasing proportion of agriculture is devoted to production of pollinator-dependent crops. In California, this is certainly the case, with the massive conversion of many agricultural lands to production of almond. Presenting recent research from her lab, Kremen will examine how diversifying our farms, from plot to 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. She will show how pollinators are an ambassador for the concept of diversified farming systems and sustainable agriculture, and how also, issues involving pollinators, such as Colony Collapse Disorder, are related to many of the most intransigent components of our food system, such as its monopolization by a relatively small number of distributors of agricultural inputs (seeds, pesticides).
Claire Kremen is Professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at University of California, Berkeley. She is an ecologist whose work focuses on understanding and characterizing the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services, and utilizing this information to develop conservation and sustainable management plans, considering both protected areas and the working lands matrix around them. Her current research focuses on exploring the ecological, social and economic benefits, costs and barriers to adoption of diversified farming systems, and on restoring pollination and pest control services in intensively farmed landscapes, using both predictive modeling and field studies. Her work reaches from theory to practice and includes hands-on conservation action such as, for example, the scientific design and establishment of a network of protected areas to protect Madagascar’s endemic flora and fauna. She has won numerous honors, including the prized MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for her contributions to ecology, agriculture and biodiversity and the J.S. McDonnell Foundation 21st Century Fellowship. She also co-directs the Center for Diversified Farming Systems.
Claire served as the University representative for the California Department of Food and Agriculture Climate Change Consortium. The recently released report, Climate Change Consortium for Specialty Crops — Impacts and Strategies for Resilience can be found here.