Penn State to host pollinator biology and health conference

November 18, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State's Center for Pollinator Research will host the third International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health and Policy, July 18-20, 2016. The conference will be held at Penn State's University Park campus.

A major theme of the conference will be translating the results of recent research advances in the biology and health of pollinators into solutions that can be applied in the field to conserve and expand pollinator populations. The conference will cover a range of topics in pollinator research -- from genomics to ecology -- and their application to land use and management, breeding of managed bees, and monitoring of global pollinator populations. Sessions also will highlight recent global initiatives in policy, education and extension.

Conference organizers plan to feature three world-renowned keynote speakers: Rachael Winfree, of Rutgers University, who will discuss the evaluation and development of land-management strategies to improve pollinator populations and ecosystem services; Gene Robinson, of the University of Illinois, who will share insights from the application of genomics to pollinator behavior and health; and Sonny Ramaswamy, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, who will discuss highlights and successes of the federal strategy to promote pollinator health.

Other confirmed speakers include Dennis vanEngelsdorp, University of Maryland; Marina Meixner, Bieneninstitut Kirchhain, Germany; Taylor Ricketts, University of Vermont; Luisa Carvalheiro, University of Brasilia, Brazil; Ed Rajotte, professor of entomology, Penn State; Amy Toth, Iowa State University; Guy Smagghe, Ghent University, Belgium; Lucy King, Save the Elephants; Andrew Barron, Macquarie University, Australia; Hollis Woodard, University of California at Riverside; Mark Brown, Royal Holloway, University of London; Dan Cariveau, University of Minnesota; Katharina Ullman, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation; Vicki Wojcik, Pollinator Partnership; and Matthew Smart, U.S. Geological Survey.

Symposia will include invited and contributed talks and posters related to epidemiology and modeling of global pollinator populations, managing landscapes for ecosystem services, pollinator nutrition and habitat, integrated pest and pollinator management, molecular tools for managing pollinator populations, and education and outreach.

The conference will be preceded by the one-day Pollinator Conservation Short Course hosted by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation on Sunday, July 17. The short course, which also will be held at Penn State's University Park campus, will feature presentations on creating and protecting pollinator habitat, as well as related research of Penn State scientists. More information is available by contacting Jillian Vento.

When this conference last was held in 2013, it attracted more than 230 participants from 15 countries, representing universities, government agencies, industry, nonprofit organizations and several stakeholder groups. More information on previous conferences, including abstract booklets and several policy-related presentations, can be found online at

To learn more about the conference, contact Kim Swistock or one of the conference organizers: Christina Grozinger, Penn State, Shelby Fleischer, Penn State, Neal Williams, University of California at Davis or Rufus Isaacs, Michigan State University, or visit the conference website.

The conference agenda, online registration and online abstract submission will be available in early February 2016. To receive an email announcement once registration is open, send a message to

Housed in the College of Agricultural Sciences, the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State is a dynamic consortium of more than 25 faculty involved in research, education and extension efforts focused on improving pollinator health, conservation and ecosystem services. For more information, visit the center's website.


(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 19, 2015