Three photos of insects on plants: Two orange and black butterflies, an iridescent beetle and a white mantis

While insects often get a bad rap in gardens, a wide array of insects are quietly performing essential functions for food webs and ecosystems. On Tuesday, June 15, University of Maryland researcher Karin Burghardt will introduce you to some of the fascinating insects that dwell in spaces we occupy every day: our gardens, yards and parks. She’ll also reveal how our activities can shape plant-insect interactions, and suggest some practices we can use to help preserve biodiversity in the ecosystems closest to home.

This webinar is part of the  Smithsonian Environmental Research Center’s free evening lecture series, and it will be recorded! By signing up on Zoom, you’ll be able to join live and receive a link to the closed-captioned recording in your inbox as soon as it’s ready.

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See past and future Smithsonian Earth Optimism lectures

Photos, left to right: Great Spangled Fritillaries (Kristen Minogue/SERC), Dogbane Beetle (Rob Aguilar) and White Mantis (Gary Peresta)