Wasps: the Neglected Darlings of the Insect World and Conservation 4.0 – Will robots take your job?

Wasps: the Neglected Darlings of the Insect World
Talk by Dr Seirian Sumner, Reader in Behavioural Ecology, Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, UCL

What’s a wasp? Wasps are much more than the yellow and black striped pesky picnic-botherers. Wasps are one of the most diverse groups of insects; they out number species of bees and wasps combined. Yet, they are the most maligned member of the insect world – hated and avoided. Bees get praise and attention for their good services as pollinators of our wild flowers and crops. In contrast, wasps are regarded as ‘pointless’. In fact, wasps perform a wealth of important ecosystem services as key predators of arthropod pest populations. Dr Sumner will explore the importance of wasps in keeping the pest of crops and the vectors of human disease at bay.

Conservation 4.0 – Will robots take your job?
Professor Kate Jones, Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, Dept. Genetics, Evolution and Environment, UCL

Wild nature and natural ecosystems are declining rapidly as humans use more of the earth’s resources and change climate patterns.Thanks to new sensor technologies such as animal movement tags, camera traps and passive acoustic sensors and new ways of analysing these data with artificial intelligence, scientists studying the impact of anthropogenic change now have access to huge amounts of data about our changing environment and declining wildlife populations. Professor Jones argues that although these technologies will help us to better understand the natural world and to further engage people with their environment, they have the potential to be very disruptive and discusses whether we are really ready for Conservation 4.0!
 

This event will be hosted by Nathalie Pettorelli, Senior Researcher at the Institute of Zoology, ZSL
 

About the speakers

Dr Seirian Sumner is a Reader in Behavioural Ecology at University College London’s Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research. She won a L’Oreal for Women in Science Award in 2007, Points of Light Award from the UK Prime Minister in 2016 for her contributions to society, ZSL Silver Medal in 2016 for her contributions to the public understanding of science, and Equality & Diversity Award from the British Ecological Society in 2017. She launched a citizen science project in 2017, the Big Wasp Survey, to help improve the image of wasps by engaging the public in surveying them. Aside from wasps, she is co-founder of the women in science outreach initiative Soapbox Science, and mum to three budding entomologists!
 

Kate Jones is Professor of Ecology and Biodiversity at University College London’s Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research. Winner of the 2008 Philip Leverhulme Award for Outstanding Contributions to Zoology, Professor Jones will review some of the latest technological advances in sensing, analysing, monitoring, and responding to wildlife population declines, focusing on her own work with bioacoustics.

 

Attending this event

  • Venue: Huxley Lecture Theatre and Bartlett Suite at ZSL London Zoo, Outer Circle, London, NW1 4RY
     
  • Tickets: This event free to attend but pre-booking is essential.


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