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Upcoming Events

Upcoming events

See below for more details!

Future event details will be added as they are available.

Dec. 9, 2022

Insects May Benefit Farmers, but Bugs Do Not: Explaining the Roles Insects Hold in Agricultural Systems

Hybrid attendance presentation and discussion.

Presented by Tobyn Neame, Abigail Cohen, and Samuel Robinson.


Prairie landscape with hazy blue sky, golden field and green grass foreground

Tobyn Neame is an MSc student in the Galpern lab at UCalgary interested in the conservation of insect biodiversity researching the impacts of landscape and agriculture on the activities, ecology, and functional traits of pest-eating beetles through fieldwork and semi-experimental manipulation.

Abigail Cohen is a post-doc in the Galpern lab at UCalgary researching how insect movement and distribution is impacted by landscape and climate. She is currently researching insect community composition in the Canadian Prairies.

Samuel Robinson is a postdoctoral researcher at UCalgary, where he studies how agricultural landscapes influence insect abundance and crop yield as a data analyst for the Prairie Precision Sustainability Network. His PhD research focused on bee pollination of canola crops.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

Insects May Benefit Farmers, but Bugs Do Not: Explaining the Roles Insects Hold in Agricultural Systems


Friday, December 9, 2022 from 2:00-3:30 (MST). 


Hybrid presentation and discussion (in-person and zoom options).

Agricultural systems are a type of ecosystem (agroecosystem). Insects are a major concern for managing agroecosystems as insects can provide both services and disservices to the system. Disservices include reduced crop yield and transmission of plant disease. Insects can also serve human interests by reducing these negative outcomes, and contribute to the ecosystems they reside in. In sustainable systems, farmers can reduce negative impacts while increasing benefits to themselves and the surrounding landscape. Within agroecosystems, disservices and services can exist simultaneously but are poorly understood.

In this talk, three case studies of agroecosystems will be presented showcasing negative, intermediate, and positive impacts insects can have. First, an herbivorous insect that can affect nightshade crops by eating the plant and spreading plant diseases. Farmers tend to over-spray insecticides, but through understanding the ecology of these pests we can limit insecticide use. Second, two types of managed bees used to pollinate canola crops. While honey bees are a well-known pollinator, their effects on yield may have been overestimated. Finally, the potential for ground beetles to consume insect pests within field crops and the relationship that these beetles have with the surrounding landscape.

Suggested Reading:

Zhang, W., Ricketts, T.H., Kremen, C., Carney, K., & Swinton, S. M. (2007). Ecosystem services and dis-services to agriculture. Ecological Economics, 64(2), 253-260.


Four brown chickens standing on green ground near a fence

2023 Events


Winter 2023.


Lectures, panels, field trips and other events to be announced. 

Please return to this page for details on upcoming events for the Food Studies Interdisciplinary Research Groups 2022/2023 season.