Saint Louis University

Social and Ecological Drivers of Pollinator Health

PollinatorsFaculty: Dr. Damon Hall, Dr. Gerardo Camilo

Insect pollinator populations around the world have been declining steadily, and the loss of this "free" ecological service puts global food security at risk. Several rare native pollinator species absent in nearby rural areas are found in the St. Louis area.

Human land-use decisions affect bee abundance and diversity. For example, species distribution is associated with the diversity of neighborhoods' economic, historical, and cultural attributes. Although land-use decisions significantly impact pollinator health, research aimed at understanding these social dimensions is absent from the literature. Understanding the social-cultural drivers of urban land use is necessary for developing effective pollinator health and habitat conservation programs.

The project involves developing an interdisciplinary approach for examining relationships between pollinator health and urban land-use decision making in St. Louis and other cities. This applied research project exemplifies how university-generated knowledge can be (1) translated into agency policies and (2) used to evaluate the effectiveness of those policies.

This research is funded by Saint Louis University's Presidential Research Fund and conducted in collaboration with SLU's Department of Biology.

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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