Emily is a PhD student in entomology at Pennsylvania State University. Her work focuses on the plant-pollinator interactions, with a focus to supporting pollinators and biodiversity in urban environments. Emily did her undergraduate work at UC Davis where she studied International Agricultural Development and minored in Entomology, which honed her interest in how humans interact with the natural world and set her on the path to studying bees and their role in man-made environments. In today’s episode she talks about the role of garden plants in bee conservation and dives deep into how plant breeding may be changing the attractiveness of garden plants to bees.
Emily Erickson talks about the role of garden plants in bee conservation and how plant breeding may be changing the attractiveness of garden plants to bees.
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“Studying ornamental plants allows me to isolate floral traits in the context of the whole flower. So I can keep everything else consistent and then ask, ‘what if the flower was red instead of orange? Does that matter?’.” – Emily Erickson
- The issues Emily found in building pollinator friendly gardens, and how she is hoping to solve it
- What makes studying ornamental plant varieties so unique and interesting
- How these ornamental garden plants affect the population of pollinator visitors
- What makes a plant pollinator friendly
- How Emily and her team have been studying these effects
- How a different cultivar can make a difference in pollinator populations
- Why this research is unique among other studies of it’s kind
- What other research Emily is doing on this subject
“There is no one flower to rule them all. That is the really cool thing about plant pollinator communities, but also it’s not what people want to hear.” – Emily Erickson