3/3 – Seattle Meeting 7 pm – Dr Susan Waters “Pollinators, Native Prairies, and Conservation”

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Restoration of Puget Trough/Willamette Valley 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 pollinators respond to restoration. This is an important gap in conservation science, since our prairies host a number of rare species, including native plants that depend on pollinators for successful reproduction. 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.

Susan Waters is the founder and senior research ecologist at Quamash EcoResearch (www.quamasheco.com). Her research focuses on plant-pollinator community dynamics in Cascadia prairies. 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.

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