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NewsOct 6, 2020

Bug expert to speak on the importance of urban pollinators

Lesley University presents discussion with insect ecologist Dr. Amy Mertl

A bee pollinating a pink flower in Mount Auburn

The Boston area may not be a hub of agriculture, but pollinators such as bees and butterflies are still important to the urban ecology.

On Wednesday, October 14 at 6 p.m., Lesley University will host a virtual discussion with insect ecologist Dr. Amy Mertl on urban pollinators, why they matter, why they are in trouble and what can be done to conserve them. The event is part of our Virtual Campus Sustainability Week.

Mertl, an assistant professor, has studied insects from the Amazonian rainforests to Cambridge’s Mount Auburn Cemetery and most recently the wilds of Somerville.

Amy Mertl wearing a sunhat and speaking outside.
Bug expert Dr. Amy Mertl will speak about urban pollinators for our Virtual Campus Sustainability Week.

Besides habitat loss, pesticide use and climate change, which affect bugs worldwide, urban non-native plants and “tidy” lawns can diminish the local pollinator population. Mertl says urbanites, even those with tiny lawns, can do a number of easy things to protect a diverse group of pollinators, such as letting lawns grow, avoiding pesticides and planting native flowers in the ground or in pots.

Mertl will share more information and answer questions during the lecture, which will take place on Zoom.