I am interested in conservation of natural land and restoration within agroecosystems. My background is in pollination biology and I did a Masters at the University of Western Ontario studying pollination of greenhouse tomatoes by bumble bees. I did a PhD at Simon Fraser University on the relationship between modern agricultural practices and wild bees. I tested various new pesticides and their effects on bee health and foraging ability, and I assess wild bee abundance, diversity, and pollination in genetically modified, organic, and conventional canola fields. This work led me to become interested in how the agricultural landscape can impact bee populations and how this relates to the economics of pollination and farm production.
I’m now examining how established, native hedgerows affect pest, predator, parasitoid, and pollinator populations. I am conducting experiments on the effects of hedgerows on pest control and pollination. As a way of promoting conservation within agricultural areas, I am assessing the costs of establishing and maintaining semi-natural areas on working farms and the economic benefits that these areas may provide to growers through ecosystem services such as pollination and pest control.