Associate Professor, Biological Sciences
Assistant Research Professor, Institute For Environmental Sciences And Policy
University Of Illinois At Chicago
Residential yards are arguably the most underappreciated and under-studied ecosystem in the world. Although the area they cover is small on a global scale, their impact on humans is disproportionately large. The structure and composition of yards influences biodiversity of wildlife and provision of ecosystem services. The relationship between these different factors has rarely been evaluated in cities, where the vast majority of people now live. I will talk about a series of related studies in which we examined residential yards in Chicago, the floral resources they contain, their influence on the bee community, and the subsequent effects on pollination services. I will also discuss the implications of urbanization for plant-pollinator interactions. I will highlight the importance of wild bees in cities and their surprising relationship with human residents.