Pollination Ecology: Biology of a Partnership
The science of pollination biology is less than a century and a half old, and its popularity as a field of investigation has increased substantially only in the last fifty years. There are several reasons for its widespread popularity today. First, it is a lovely system by which to study the effects of natural selection and especially the dynamic reciprocal adaptations that lead to coevolution. Second, valuable field studies can be done with a minimum of equipment and training. Although the techniques used are numerous and varied, most are quite simple. Actually, “the primary technique of pollination ecology . . . is the same today as in Sprengel’s or Darwin’s days: consistent observation of what really happens in nature, in the original, natural habitat of the plant under investigation” (Faegri and van der Pijl 1979). Third, it’s fun; the pollination biologist spends their days out-of-doors, among beautiful flowers and interesting animals, contemplating sexual behavior.
This short course is a field workshop that will explore the diversity of floral structure and function in plants to investigate how they interact with insect pollinators to achieve sexual reproduction. Field experiences, readings, and lectures will provide an overview of ecological adaptations of plants and animals to be found in common pollination systems. A variety of simple but powerful field investigative techniques will be learned that the student can use in research, teaching, or for personal enrichment.
About the Instructor:
Dr. Boyce Drummond is a biological consultant and a visiting Associate Professor at Colorado College. He is a Research Associate at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Gillette Museum of Arthropod Biodiversity at Colorado State University, and the Florida State Collection of Arthropods at the University of Florida. A past Director of the Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Dr. Drummond is co-author of Florissant Butterflies: A Guide to Fossil and Present-day Species of Central Colorado.
Educators, when registering online for this class, please click on scholarship button and write EDUCATOR in the comments field so we can apply additional discount for you. The educators’ discount is for teachers who take ACES classes for their professional development. Educator class cost is $60.