Roadside habitats for pollinators

Monarch butterfly landing on a purple flower

Pollinators and insects provide crucial support for 70 percent of our country’s crops and are an important part of our ecosystem, yet many are declining due to factors such as habitat loss. To counteract this decline, many are looking toward investing in roadsides.

Emilie Snell-Rood, associate professor of ecology, evolution, and behavior at the College of Biological Sciences, has overseen three projects and more than 400 roadside site surveys in Minnesota to determine the benefits and the risks of developing roadside habitats for native plants and pollinators.

Her research has explored the potential of roadside habitats for monarch butterflies, the toxicity of roadsides, and roadside restoration methods. Snell-Rood is using the results of her work to help with conservation efforts by providing data-driven guidance to roadside managers.

Snell-Rood’s research was also recently recognized by the U’s Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR). Her work received an honorable mention in OVPR’s inaugural Innovation Impact Case Award, which highlights research that has had a significant impact outside of academia and made a meaningful difference in our communities.

Read more about Snell-Rood’s research in the full story from OVPR.


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Michael McCarthy