The Minor Lab

UIC University of Illinois at Chicago





This NSF-supported project* will (a) evaluate changes in pollinators and their response to floral resources across a gradient of urban development, and (b) determine how these biotic changes affect the consistency and magnitude of pollination services.

In the summer of 2012, we used a mobile garden on the back of a pickup truck to assess pollinator communities and pollination services. This truck travelled across Chicago to determine how pollination services are distributed across the urban landscape.

In the summer of 2013, we are expanding our research to urban backyards. We are leaving our mobile garden in ~30 different backyards for 3 days, to help us evaluate pollination services in these neighborhoods.

So far, we have some very intriguing results that suggest that bee communities are more diverse in neighborhoods with more people! This appears to be due to the diversity of flowers that are growing in densely-populated neighborhoods. As a caveat, we must point out that we are not sampling in downtown Chicago--our most densely populated neighborhoods have mostly 3-flats or small condominium buildings rather than high-rise buildings.

Click here to see the brochure we are handing out to interested onlookers during our fieldwork.

(top picture) mobile garden experiments

(middle picture) Bumble Bee on Echinacea flower

(bottom picture) Small sweat bee (genus Lasioglossum) visiting a cucumber flower

Here is a photograph of David and Emily with students in Project Exploration. We visited their classroom at University of Chicago and spoke to them about our research project
Here is a photograph of one of our training sessions for people who have allowed us to use their yards as sample locations.

We have a number of undergraduate students participating in this project in summer 2013. We may have one or more opportunities for undergraduate students to be involved with this research in 2013/2014. Interested undergraduates should submit (by email) a cover letter and resume to Emily Minor.

*Follow this link for additional information about our NSF-sponsored project (grant # 1120376):

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation