Seminar: Lars Olson - UMD & SESYNC, 11am

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Lars Olson, UMD & SESYNC
Time of Event: 
Tuesday, March 7, 2017 - 11:00

National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC)
1 Park Place, Suite 300
Annapolis, MD 21401

Title: Risk factors for pest interceptions in fruit and vegetable imports and the value of systematics in facilitating international trade 

The expansion of international trade in commodities is beneficial in many ways, offering buyers a greater diversity of products and lowering purchase prices of familiar products. At the same time, the global movement of goods provides a pathway for the spread of nonindigenous species that cause economic and ecological harm.  Systematics—the branch of biology that deals with the identification and classification of organisms and the description of their life histories—is essential for our ability to understand and manage the world’s genetic resources.  This presentation will discuss recent research on the frequency of potential pest arrivals to the US through trade in fruits and vegetables and related research on the economic value of systematics in facilitating international trade.  The first uses comprehensive USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) inspection data to estimate measures of the frequency of potential pest arrivals and analyzes how these measures vary with characteristics of the imported commodities, including commodity type, origin and season.  The second focuses on systematics knowledge embodied in scientists and physical reference collections housed in museums and research institutions and examines the economic value of this knowledge in reducing errors that can occur in screening imports for invasive pests.

Seminar presented by Lars Olson, National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) Sabbatical Fellow and Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Maryland.

SESYNC seminars are open to all interested attendees. Join us in Annapolis!

The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, funded through an award to the University of Maryland from the National Science Foundation, is a research center dedicated to accelerating data-driven scientific discovery at the interface of human and ecological systems. Visit us online at and follow us on Twitter @SESYNC.

Event type: 
Event Attendance: 
Open to the Public
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