Role: Conference Bursary Recipient
Department: Integrative Biology
Conference Attended: INTECOL
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
My work has three objectives: (i) examining how plant basal resources, trophic interactions, and spatial factors regulate abundance and richness of insects in agroecosystems (ii) testing resource-based habitat drivers, where limits in foraging and nesting material regulate spatial variability in insects, and (iii) quantifying functional impacts including socioeconomic values of insect pest and predators in agricultural landscapes. Further, my research study follows a hierarchical sampling design to study arthropod diversity at three different spatial scales: local, field, and regional (alpha, beta, and gamma diversity). This is not an easy task, so it is still novel, and I always accept feedback on how to improve these methods or incorporate temporal scales into it. This temporal scale is what I want to add to my PhD work for my various chapter.
Objectives for Attending:
This conference will provide networking and data analysis support for my current research needs through the talks and symposia I plan to attend. Attending this conference will allow me to share what I have learned from my own research but learn from others who might have different perspectives and advice for me 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. This conference is a very special one for me because I was invited to give a talk in a symposium called (preliminary) “Enhancing Ecosystem Services with Sustainable Pest Management”. This would be my first invited talk to inform people about the Food from Thought research program that I am heavily involved with in my PhD (as well as my past MSc). This also just gives me a great platform to talk about important insect research needed on farmed landscapes. The notable talk topics at this conference include: Organismal and community level biodiversity, nature-based solutions, ecosystem services, regional ecology, spatial and temporal ecology and citizen science in ecology.