Cluster Hire Research Series: Landscape drivers of agricultural pests and pesticides: evidence across scales

Cluster Hire in LFS Applied Biology, Sustainable Agriculture and the Environment, and CSFS at UBC Farm

Research Seminar: Landscape drivers of agricultural pests and pesticides: Evidence across scales.

Dr. Ashley Larsen

Assistant Professor

Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

University of California, Santa Barbara

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Agroecological paradigms suggest that simplified landscapes composed of large, contiguous agricultural fields separated by small fragments of natural land should experience increased insect pest pressure and insecticide use due to a lack of natural enemies and more homogeneous crop resources. Yet, despite decades of research, empirical evidence remains stubbornly inconclusive. In this talk I will explore whether and under what context simplified cropland characterized by lower crop diversity, less non-crop habitat, and larger fields results in increased use of insecticides using several data-driven analyses across multiple spatial scales. Through this data-driven perspective, I provide unique understanding of how different landscape characteristics influence insecticide use over space and time, and generate novel, crop-specific insight into the equivocal empirical literature.

When and Where?

  • May 27, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • MacMilllan Building, Room 158

About the Presenter

Dr. Ashley Larsen, UC Santa Barbara

Dr. Ashley Larsen is an assistant professor in the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research focuses on understanding the ecological drivers of agricultural pests and pesticides, and the consequences of pesticides and other intensive production practices for ecological and environmental health. She uses a combination of data-driven techniques from ecology, geography, conservation planning and economics to test ecological principles governing agroecosystems in ways that complement and extend traditional field- and theory-based approaches. She received her PhD in Ecology, Evolution & Marine Biology in 2015 and was a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at University of California, Berkeley before joining the Bren faculty in 2016.

This seminar is part of the LFS Applied Biology Faculty Cluster Hire in Sustainable Agriculture and the Environment. Nine short-listed candidates will be giving seminars in May and June as part of their intensive interview process. Click here see a full list of events.