College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences

Across the globe, insect populations have seen a steep decline.

According to a meta-analysis of 16 studies, insect populations have declined by about 45% in just the last 40 years. The large-scale death of insects poses huge threats not only to the ecosystems they exist in but also to much of our agriculture.

According to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, insects pollinate about 75% of global crops, a service valued at almost $600 billion. Two driving causes of the marked fall off are climate change and habitat loss.

At the University of California Riverside, Dr. Erin Rankin studies how insects interact with their environments. To help study the effects of habitat loss, Rankin recently helped established the Entomology Teaching Garden, where students can learn about local bug species.

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