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IAE Events

Webinar: Plants, pollinators, native prairies, and conservation

June 24 @ 7:00 pm 8:30 pm PDT

Event Details

This live Zoom webinar will be presented by Dr. Susan Waters of Quamash EcoResearch, and is in lieu of our Stories from the Field annual fundraising event. You must first register at the link below, and you’ll receive a Zoom link in your email to click at the time of the webinar.

Restoration of Willamette Valley/Puget Trough prairies has been highly successful in reestablishing native plant communities that look beautiful and diverse to a human eye. Yet we still have relatively little understanding of how the non-plant members of the community respond to restoration. This is an important gap in conservation science, since these prairies host a number of rare species, including insect species that depend directly on specialized relationships with key plants. Our program uses plant-pollinator networks to examine the effects of restoration on pollinating insect communities and the interactions that feed back to affect rare plant and insect species. We will present results of a study of pollination interactions that affect Willamette daisy (Erigeron decumbens), a rare native forb of the Willamette Valley prairies, as well as insights into how restoration reorganizes plant-pollinator communities.

Dr. Susan Waters is the founder and senior research ecologist at Quamash EcoResearch (www.quamasheco.com). Her research focuses on plant-pollinator community dynamics in Puget Trough/Willamette Valley prairies, on which she has collaborated extensively with IAE. Susan’s training is in pollination ecology and plant community ecology, with an emphasis on species interactions under climate change. She earned her doctorate at the University of Washington, where her research focused on native-exotic plant interactions mediated by pollinators, and the effects of phenological shifting on those interactions. She currently studies how prairie plant-pollinator networks change as sites undergo restoration and as native plant populations rebound. Susan also co-founded and co-directed the Urban Pollination Project, a citizen science initiative in Seattle that investigated urban land use impacts on bumble bee foraging and urban food production.