SHIELD and the insect apocalypse --
let's double NEON's funding
to improve human health and nature's wellbeing
by better understanding biodiversity within ecosystems.

John Pickering
Noon, Monday, 6 January, 2020
NEON, Boulder, Colorado

Abstract: Recent high-profile papers have reported alarming declines in the number of birds and mammals in North America and the biomass of insects across German protected areas. My talk will focus on long-term trends in insect populations. Where have they declined and why? Where are their populations stable and why? I will report trends for over 1,300 moth species from a 10-year study in Georgia. I will make the case that we must build a global biodiversity SHIELD to monitor human health and biodiverity, identify threats from pollutants and other factors, and develop the means to mitigate them. If we don't do so our lives are likely to be shorter, ecosystem services and our economy will suffer, and biodiversity will continue to decline.

Bio: John Pickering has been a naturalist since his childhood in England. He received a Ph.D. in Biology from Harvard in 1980 and has lived in Athens since 1984, where he served on the faculty in Entomology and then Ecology at the University of Georgia for 32 years before his "retirement." He co-founded the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Discover Life website. His passions include being outdoors, understanding species interactions, and programming computers. He gets up before dawn to have fun photographing insects and writing poems. He manages Shoal Creek Sanctuary and is helping to build SHIELD. His online album includes 360,000 images of over 2,800 species from around the world. For more please see,_John.html