Seminar: Managing for Multiple Ecosystem Services in an Agricultural Landscape in Quebec

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Elena Bennett, Associate Professor, Department of Natural Resource Sciences and McGill School of Environment, McGill University
Time of Event: 
Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 11:00

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


Agricultural landscapes can provide multiple ecosystem services, including food, high quality freshwater, opportunities for recreation, and flood control. Yet we often focus narrowly on the production of food, which can unintentionally undermine provision of other key services. Thus, a key goal for ecosystem service science in the coming decade is to improve our understanding of how multiple services are provided across agricultural landscapes, now and in the future. What affects the relative proportions of services? Can trade-offs be reduced or synergies strengthened through certain management techniques? We developed and empirically tested a modeling framework that quantitatively links landscape connectivity, biodiversity, and ecosystem services in the the Vallée-du-Richelieu MRC (Municipalité Régionale de Comté), an approximately 750 km2 regional governance body involving 13 towns southeast of Montreal. Using fieldwork and historical analyses, we investigated the mechanisms behind these linkages to better understand the relationships necessary to build the models. My presentation will feature glimpses into the fieldwork and modeling results, as well as the historical ecology and future scenarios aspects of the Monteregie Conection project.


Dr. Elena Bennett is an Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences and the McGill School of Environment. She received her BA in Biology and Environmental Studies from Oberlin College in Ohio in 1994, and earned her MSc in Land Resources in 1999 (U. Wisconsin) and her PhD in Limnology and Marine Sciences in 2002 (U. Wisconsin). She is respected as an expert in ecosystem services (benefits that people obtain from nature) and is co-chair of the international project ecoSERVICES, which aims to set the research agenda for ecosystem services for the coming decade. She has received more than $2 million in grants to support her research, and published over 75 peer-reviewed articles on her work. Dr. Bennett was a Leopold Leadership Fellow (2012), and received training from this group in leadership and communication, and was recently named a Trottier Public Policy Professor (2013–2014). She won the Macdonald Campus Award for (Undergraduate) Teaching Excellence in 2012 and the Carrie M. Derick Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision in 2013.

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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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