Penn State to Hold International Conference on Pollinator Health

5/4/2013 7:00 AM

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — With populations of wild and domesticated pollinators, such as honeybees, in decline, some of the world’s foremost scientists in the field will converge on Penn State this summer to discuss the latest research aimed at understanding and overcoming challenges to pollinator health.

Hosted by the Center for Pollinator Research in the College of Agricultural Sciences, the second International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health and Policy will be held Aug. 14-17 at The Nittany Lion Inn.

“Pollinator decline not only has alarmed the scientific community but has gained prominence in the popular press, raising the public’s awareness about threats to our ecosystem,” said Christina Grozinger, associate professor of entomology and director of the Center for Pollinator Research.

“The causes are complex, and we believe many stressors are contributing, including parasites, pathogens, environmental toxins, poor nutrition and habitat loss,” she said. “The conference will include presentations on all these topics but especially will focus on the effects of environment contaminants on pollinators.”

The conference will feature two world-renowned keynote speakers: David Goulson of the University of Stirling in the United Kingdom, an expert in the behavior, ecosystem services and conservation of bumble bees; and Heather Patisaul of North Carolina State University, who will share insights into the genomic, neurophysiological and behavioral impacts of environmental contaminants that act as endocrine disruptors in mammals.

Additional symposia will include invited and contributed talks and posters related to pollinator behavior, physiology, host-parasite interactions, conservation, ecosystems services and policy.

The conference will begin the evening of Aug. 14 and will be preceded the same day by the Pollinator Conservation Short Course, hosted by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation at the University Park campus and featuring presentations on creating and protecting pollinator habitat and related research by Penn State scientists.

Attendees who register by July 1 will receive a discounted fee. A special rate is available for students. The keynote addresses will be free and open to the public.

To learn more, visit

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