Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Rodgers Library to open lecture series with climate, bee talk

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the bee population in the U.S. hit a 50-year low last May and continues to drop indefinitely. According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Association, nearly 64 percent of the world’s food is bee-pollinated and worth nearly $207 billion.

This will be the topic of the first of four “lightning talks” on science topics held in February. “Environmental Stress in Nature: Case of Bumble Bees” will be hosted Thursday outside the Nightingale Room in Rodgers Library. This talk features Jeffrey Lozier, a researcher on bees and their adaptation to climatic change.

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“We’re studying a few things here, but the most relevant to these talks is adaptation to climate variations. How do these populations survive in such a variety of environments,” Lozier said. “We have evidence to suggest populations on top of mountains are more isolated than those at lower elevations, and we can track their thermal patterns. This [isolation] can lead to inbreeding or hurt flying habits.”

All four talks will be held every Thursday in February at 2 p.m., covering topics as diverse as searching for earth-like planets to geological rock formations. The talks were designed by the head of Rodgers Libraries John Sandy.

“We had a couple of goals in mind,” Sandy said. “First, to highlight research activities of faculty and second, to create excitement for science in students and even for faculty who don’t usually think about science in that way.”

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Lozier, who recently had an article on the subject published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, will be addressing numerous hypotheses about the decline of bee populations, including climate change, pesticides and disease.

“There’s this one hypothesis that there’s an invasive fungus causing a decline in population, including the extinction of one entire species in the United States,” Lozier said.

After the speech, a short question-and-answer session will be conducted. Students and faculty are both invited to this free event.

“You can say a lot in 10 minutes,” Sandy said. “If this catches on, we hope to expand this program to the engineering and nursing schools, which is who Rodgers services.”

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Lozier, who started studying bees for his postdoctoral studies, said he hopes students and faculty take two things away from the talk.

“Not all bees are honey bees,” Lozier said. “We have a huge diversity of bees in the U.S. And also, I’d like people to think about where food comes from and the animals involved in its growth and pollination … They’re fascinating organisms to study, from a variety of angles.”


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