TA Baker Professor of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware.
Nature's Best Hope
Recent headlines about global insect declines and three billion fewer birds in North America are a bleak reality check about how ineffective our current landscape designs have been at sustaining the plants and animals that sustain us. To create landscapes that enhance local ecosystems rather than degrade them, we must add the native plant communities that sustain food webs, sequester carbon, maintain diverse native bee communities, and manage our watersheds. If we do this in half of the area now in lawn, we can create Homegrown National Park, a 20 million acre network of viable habitats that will provide vital corridors connecting the few natural areas that remain. This approach to conservation empowers everyone to play a significant role in the future of the natural world.
The Nature of Oaks
Scary headlines about the decline of the natural world that serves as our life support have spurred homeowners across the country to take action by planting natives that will help reverse this trend. No plant will achieve this faster than one of our 91 species of oaks. Oaks support more species of animals, sequester more carbon, protect our watersheds, and nourish soil communities better than any other plant genus in North America. Tallamy will discuss these roles by following the many fascinating things that are happening on the oaks in his yard each month of the year. His hope is to supply the knowledge about oaks that will generate interest in them, and, with any luck, compassion for these magnificent trees.
Douglas Tallamy has authored 104 research publications and has taught insect related courses for 40 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His book Bringing Nature Home was published by Timber Press in 2007 and was awarded the 2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers' Association. The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was published in 2014; Nature's Best Hope, a New York Times Best Seller, was released in February 2020, and his latest book The Nature of Oaks was released by Timber press in March 2021. Among his awards are the Garden Club of America Margaret Douglas Medal for Conservation and the Tom Dodd, Jr. Award of Excellence, the 2018 AHS B.Y. Morrison Communication Award and the 2019 Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award.