Why the World Should be Harnessing the Predatory Power of Wasps

What's up with wasps? Professor Seirian Sumner will give an overview of the ecosystem services provided by the much-maligned insects.

Date:
Organiser: Linnean events
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ONLINE LUNCHTIME LECTURE 12.30–13:00 WEDNESDAY, 14 APRIL 2021


Wasp predating on a fall army worm (Seirian Sumner)
Wasp predating on a fall army worm (Seirian Sumner)

Social wasps are stigmatised by their seemingly aggressive behaviour and propensity to sting. “What’s the point of wasps?” people ask.

Wasps are nature’s pest controllers: they eat the other insects/arthropods that you may hate even more than wasps. The importance of wasps as regulators of insect populations (and beyond) is largely un-appreciated, despite the fact that their ecosystem service should be valued at least as much as the pollination services of bees. Professor Seirian Sumner will give an overview of the ecosystem services provided by these much-maligned insects. She will also unveil new insights into how agriculture can benefit from harnessing the predator power of wasps as natural enemies, as a form of biocontrol for some of the world’s most economically important crop pests.


Prof Seirian Sumner
Prof Seirian Sumner

Seirian Sumner is a Professor of Behavioural Ecology at University College London. Her research focuses on the ecology, evolution and behaviour of insects, especially social wasps. She is also working hard to challenge societal perceptions of wasps, such that they are valued in a similar way to other economically and ecological important insects (e.g. bees).

www.sumnerlab.org / @waspwoman



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