2021 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Shelly Volsche


Insects have a breadth of diversity that no other animal order has. The critical role that these creatures play in ecosystems, in terms of the quantity of species, amount of total biomass, and sheer numbers far exceeds any other animal, but they are disregarded, eradicated, and have their prominence minimized within the animal kingdom (Kunin, 2019). Insects provide pollination of many of the foods that we humans enjoy such as: fruits, vegetables, nuts, and spices. For years, scientists have believed that bees were the workhorse of the pollination process and other insects were just seen as pests. It isn’t until recently, that research has started to demonstrate the vast importance of non-bees’ contribution to pollination. In addition, as our knowledge has increased it has also become apparent that bees are limited in the distance and temperature, in which they can be collecting pollen. Many of the non-bees, have wider parameters in which to operate, giving them many more hours out pollinating. Bees and non-bees are both struggling against fragmentation of land and loss of habitat. Insects may be small, but they have an importance that is larger than what appears on the surface.



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