New USDA grant awarded for crop pollination services
Launches consortium to restore pollination services to specialty crops
- By Taylor H Ricketts
Taylor is part of a broad collaboration that was just awarded a 5-year, $9 million-dollar grant from the USDA. The grant, led by Rufus Isaacs at Michigan State University, is entitled "Integrating Native Bees into Sustainable Pollination Strategies for Specialty Crops." A group of researchers and practitioners from Michigan State, UC Davis, Rutgers, UC Berkeley, University of Vermont, Chicago Botanic Garden, the Xerces Society, and others will focus on conserving and restoring pollinator habitat on agricultural landscapes across the US.
Taylor and colleague Eric Lonsdorf will lead a modeling effort within the overall program to predict the ecological and economic impacts of habitat restoration. These models will help guide field trials of actual restoration projects, and will result in a user-friendly tool to help farmers locate restoration projects to maximize conservation and yield returns.
The grant will fund a post-doctoral researcher to lead this modeling team. Watch for the ad in October!