Monoculture farming leaves us highly dependent on honey bees, whose pollination affects 75 percent of fruits and vegetables and 30 percent of all food production.
However, managed hives are being wiped out by colony collapse disorder at an alarming rate.
Kremen will discuss how wild bees can boost the effectiveness of managed hives and play a critical role in pollinating the crops that keep California's economy humming- The Commonwealth Club of California
Claire Kremen is a conservation biologist whose applied research advances the fields of ecology, biodiversity, and agriculture. As a leader of a conservation planning initiative in Madagascar, Kremen has used adaptive management and predictive mapping to design and establish protected and multiple-use areas in Masoala National Park, Madagascar’s largest nature reserve.
Her current work in Madagascar includes forecasting deforestation and its impact on species distribution and development of a web-based repository that will provide researchers with up-to-date biodiversity data and analytical tools needed for conservation planning and monitoring. In other research in the U.S., at the intersection of agriculture and biodiversity, Kremen explores the behavior of diverse native pollinators (primarily bees) and the environments that sustain them.
By analyzing the behavior patterns of bees, Kremen investigates an often overlooked but critical component of the global food web, as more than half of all flowering agricultural crops involve natural pollinators. She measures several key variables, including geographic distribution of natural habitats, the diversity of insect pollinators, and the delivery of pollination services.
Claire Kremen received a B.Sc. (1982) from Stanford University and a Ph.D. (1987) from Duke University. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. From 2001 to 2005, she was an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University.
Transfer of pollen grains in seed plants from the stamens, where they form, to the pistil. Pollination is required for fertilization and the production of seeds. On the surface of the pistil the pollen grains germinate (seegermination) and form pollen tubes that grow downward toward the ovules. During fertilization, a sperm cell in a pollen tube fuses with the egg cell of an ovule, giving rise to the plant embryo. The ovule then grows into a seed. Since the pollen-bearing parts of the stamens are rarely in direct contact with the pistil, plants commonly rely on external agents for pollen transport. Insects (especially bees) and wind are the most important pollinators; other agents include birds and a few mammals (notably certain bats). Water transport of pollen is rare. An egg may be fertilized by self-pollination (when the sperm comes from pollen produced by the same flower or by another flower on the same plant) or by cross-pollination (when the sperm comes from the pollen of a different plant).