Ecological economics combines natural and social sciences to understand the interactions between people and nature. In this talk, I will introduce the work of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont. Many of our research priorities overlap with those of CATIE and present opportunities for collaboration. As an example, I'll describe a decade of research to estimate the ecological importance and economic value of crop pollination services. This research began with simple field experiments on coffee in Costa Rica, and has since grown to a global collaboration involving dozens of scientists and more than 20 crops. These pollination studies illustrate the power of interdisciplinary research for informing policies for sustainable land management.
Taylor Ricketts is Professor of Natural Resources & Environment and Director of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont. In his research and teaching, Taylor integrates natural and social sciences to address real-world conservation problems. Taylor’s recent work has focused on the economic benefits provided to people by forests, wetlands, reefs, and other natural areas. Crop pollination by wild bees is one such benefit, and Taylor has studied these “pollination services” in the U.S and around the world. Before arriving at UVM in 2011, Taylor led World Wildlife Fund’s Conservation Science Program for nine years, and he remains a Senior Fellow at WWF. Taylor received his B.A. in Earth Sciences at Dartmouth College and his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences at Stanford University.