NRESS PhD Program Environmental Sciences Seminar Series

Wednesday, December 4, 2019
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
James Hall G46
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Cooper, Lynne
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 Susannah Lerman

Research Ecologist
U.S. Forest Service/University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

Let’s Talk about the Birds and the Bees: Backyard Habitats in Suburban Yards

Join colleagues and friends for this week’s Environmental Sciences Seminar, with guest speaker Dr. Susannah Lerman.

More about Dr. Lerman’s talk:

Urban and suburban development results in the loss and alteration of vegetation and is one of the leading causes for severe declines of birds, bees and other wildlife populations. However, backyards have the potential to mitigate some of the detrimental impacts by providing wildlife habitat.  Although these green spaces result in small fragments of non-cohesive parcels, collectively, they have the greatest potential for increasing and enhancing habitat in urban and suburban areas. Thus, individual households, in particular, their associated landscaping decisions, have a role to play in improving the capacity of backyards for supporting wildlife and other ecosystem services. This seminar will describe research that has demonstrated how wildlife has responded to landscape design variation, highlighting native plant and native bird relationships, lawn mowing frequency and bee abundance, and wildlife responses at a continental scale. Improving habitat in private yards has implications for human well-being as well since this is where people have their primary interaction with the natural world. Increased exposure and participation in field science programs can further enforce the importance of conservation initiatives and policies aimed at improving habitat in our cities and suburbs.

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Susannah Lerman
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