Aleksandra Dolezal

Role: Conference Bursary Recipient

Department: Integrative Biology

College: College of Biological Science

Conference Attended: 2021 Entomological Society of Ontario

Location: Virtual

Value: $84.75

Research Presentation:

My research objective involves rigorously testing the abiotic and biotic factors regulating arthropod communities on farm landscapes. This research will center on four hypotheses targeting the apparent contradictory responses of ‘beneficials’ and ‘pests’ to farm management and the implications for ecosystem services.

These hypotheses target direct differential drivers of beneficial and pest arthropods (habitat, chemicals) and their indirect role in shaping trophic-based species interactions (predator-prey dynamics of beneficial
predators on crop pests).

My work is timely, given the unprecedented reported decline of arthropods. The results of this research would be used to refine pesticide use and provide a framework for monitoring arthropod biodiversity and ecosystem services in the agroecosystems. This is an important topic for advancing arthropod ecology, evolutionary biology, and agroecology to produce enough crop yield to help feed growing populations.

Objectives for Attending: 

This conference will provide networking and data analysis support for my current research needs through the activities and workshops I plan to attend. Attending this conference will allow me to share what I have learned from my research and learn from others who might have different perspectives and advice to move forward in my work. I particularly want a chance to talk to long-term insect researchers to get some opinions on how to efficiently (and cheaply) bio-monitor agricultural landscapes. This knowledge is pertinent in helping with a Food from Thought funded project working with Jeremy deWaard, Andrew MacDougall, Kevin McCann, John Fryxell, and others at the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics. This conference will give me some insight into new research on agricultural landscapes and figure out the next big questions we need to address.