Ecosystem services and modern agriculture: friends or enemies?
12th May 2017
Speaker: Dr Saul Cunningham
Location: 11:30 am to 12:30 pm in Building 6, Level C, Room 12
The ecosystem services concept was created to make explicit the economic benefits that flow from natural processes, with the idea that this would then lead to their better management. Agriculture is clearly strongly dependent upon natural processes to sustain ongoing production, and so ‘ecosystem services thinking’ is often part of the conversation regarding agricultural practice and innovation. Crop pollination is one such ecosystem service to agriculture that has received a lot of attention in recent years. Saul will present his research on crop pollination in Australian agriculture, and discuss the prospects that new approaches will lead to better outcomes for agriculture and for nature conservation.
Saul Cunningham commenced as Director of the Fenner School for Environment and Society at the Australian National University in January this year. Prior to this role he spent 17 years with CSIRO in Canberra, where he developed a research program focusing on the challenge of maintaining biodiversity in landscapes dedicated to agricultural production. He has worked with farming industry groups, local landholder groups, and a wide network of international colleagues with shared interests. In 2015 the Ecological Society of Australia honoured Saul with the “Australian Ecology Research Award.” He was a contributor to the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) assessment report on Pollination and Food production, published in 2016.