Science On Tap Minocqua Features The Need For Insects

Dec 3, 2019

PJ Liesch
Credit UW-Madison

The next Science on Tap in Minocqua examines the tiny things that are said to run the world.

Each month, Science on Tap brings a guest speaker to talk about the latest scientific trends. Patrick (PJ) Liesch directs the UW Madison Department of Entomology Insect Diagnostic Lab. The lab has been around sice the 1970's. The lab helps identify the insects that inhabit our state.

Liesch says he will be talking about his general appreciation for insects and why they're important to life...

"There's a famous entomologist, E.O. Wilson, who studies ants. He came up with the phrase 'insects are the tiny things that run the world'. Whether we recognize it or not, insects are all over the place. They play roles in our everyday lives, they're really important out there in the ecosystem..."

Liesch says there are reports coming out from various sectors about a fear of the general decline of insects. He says it's far too soon to say this is the case as there is a natural variability in populations, but the consistency of the reports is concerning..

"...You really need to look at long-scale time spans of 10-30 years to see some of these trends. But we're starting to hear more and more reports of declines, not just here in the U.S. but around the world. There are a lot of factors that can be involved like land use changes that could be converting forested area to farmland and urbanization and things like that to pesticide use and a lot of other things going on..."

Science on Tap will be held Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Minocqua Brewing Company in Minocqua. The talk is free and open to the public.

Science on Tap-Minocqua is  a partnership among UW-Madison’s Trout Lake Station, UW-Madison’s Kemp Natural Resources Station, the Lakeland-Badger chapter of the Wisconsin Alumni Association, the Minocqua Public Library and the Minocqua Brewing Company.