Keynote speakers

Prof. Jane Stout

Vice President for Biodiversity and Climate Action

Trinity College Dublin




Farmland pollinators and pollination: influence of policy and practice

Flower-visiting insects, like bees and hoverflies, provide pollination services to both crops and wild plants in agricultural landscapes. However, these insects are facing decline due to agricultural intensification, the widespread use of agrochemicals and the loss and degradation of suitable foraging and nesting habitats. This decline has become well publicised, and both international and EU-level biodiversity frameworks and targets highlight the restoration of pollinators as a key ambition.

The successful restoration of pollinators on farmland requires understanding of complex networks of interactions between pollinators and local and landscape-level factors, including quantity and suitability of floral resources, type and location of habitat features, pesticide use and residues, and threats from disease and parasites. At the same time, farmers need to maintain yields to sustain food production and their own livelihoods.

This presents a challenge for policy-makers, and the design of agri-environmental schemes, as well as for the farmers implementing pollinator action on the ground. Whole-farm and context-specific landscape scale approaches are required, as well as monitoring to determine success. Examples of these approaches from Irish farming landscapes will be presented.

jeff ollerton
Prof. Jeff Ollerton

Consulting ecologist and author
Visiting Professor, University of Northampton, UK &

Kunming Institute of Botany, China



Plant-pollinator interactions underpin the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a framework by which all the nations of the world can progress in an equitable and sustainable way. Biodiversity is of fundamental importance to many of the SDGs, either directly or indirectly, and this is widely recognised.

Plants are the ecological foundation for most terrestrial biodiversity, however, as they lie at the base of the food chain. The vast majority (around 90%) of the 350,000 species of flowering plants rely on animal pollinators for their reproduction. Therefore, plant-pollinator interactions underpin the SDGs in ways that go beyond food security.

This presentation discusses the different approaches to the study of pollination, provides some examples of the importance of plant-pollinator interactions for the SDGs, and how the work of pollination ecologists can contribute to their aims.