Biology Prof. Shares Importance of Gardens in Op-Ed
An op-ed written by Associate Professor and Co-Chair of Biology Aswini Pai about the importance and value of gardens was recently featured in the Syracuse Post-Standard.
Pai’s op-ed, “Gardens: Good for the Soul and the Bees,” notes that with many American families at home together, and with the school year having ended, parents and children can take a break from their screens and spend time in the backyard or create an ornamental garden, and how doing so can benefit them and critical pollinators like bees.
“The satisfaction of watching a seed grow into a plant that in turn nourishes your body and soul is a lesson that children can learn and imbibe over the summer,” Pai writes. “It connects people to nature, in their own backyards.”
Alarming data regarding the rapid decline of all pollinators has been increasingly documented over the past 20 years. Pai has established the Pollinator Project, which is her own study of the wild bee population inhabiting the St. Lawrence campus and surrounding area to make people aware of the “insect apocalypse” the world is facing.
Read more about the Pollinator Project in the St. Lawrence magazine.
Pai is an ethnobotanist and plant ecologist whose research lies at the intersection of ethnobotany and ecology and encompasses both North America and Asia. In addition to welcoming a handful of students to her lab each semester to conduct research with her, she regularly teaches courses such as General Biology, Ethnobotany, Tropical Ecology, Medicinal Plant Ecology, and Forest Ecology of Asia. Pai is also a member of St. Lawrence’s Asian Studies and Native American Studies programs.