Beneficial Insects: Why We Need Bugs!

Monday 7th September 2020

Speaker: Lorna Cole

When it comes to conservation we often think of the panda, the tiger, or the mountain gorilla. But what about the humble bumblebee, ladybird or soil mite?  Arguably these critters can be just as majestic and beautiful and the role they play in our world is indisputably more important. Dr Lorna Cole from SRUC will guide us through the vital roles these insects play to food production. We will explore the ferocious predators that are active in farmers crops, the multitude of insects that pollinate crops, and the soil critters that keep our soil healthy. Our live experiment will try and answer the question: What makes a bad apple? To take part in the experiment have handy a couple of apples – one mis-shapen and one perfect - a knife and a chopping board. 

 Lorna Cole is an agricultural ecologist at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and lectures on their Wildlife and Conservation Management Degree. Lorna believes that feeding our growing world population whilst protecting our environment is the greatest challenge we face. She is particularly interested in beneficial insects, including pollinators and predatory beetles. Her research aims to increase our understanding of how agricultural practices influence these insects and the ecosystem services they deliver.  

The format of our virtual Cafe Sci talks is a little bit different to normal. The speaker will talk for 10 minutes, with the remaining time (c.50 mins) for your questions. These can be  submitted in advance to:  but you can add to these live on the night as well. Feel free to bring your own glass of wine or cup of coffee!  

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