Upcoming Events

The Buzz On Bugs: a free lecture and film screening

June 13, 2019 06:00 pm - 08:00 pm
Location: Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute - Auditorium, 1500 Remount Road, Front Royal, Virginia
Category: Uncategorized

In this FREE two-part event, hear a fascinating talk from Dr. Ashley Kennedy (creator of the crowd-sourced project “What Do Birds Eat?” and protégé of the renowned author Doug Tallamy) as she discusses the findings of her work studying bird diets. Afterwards, enjoy a humorous and poignant documentary short "The Love Bugs" that explores a couple’s devotion to insects, science, and each other as they prepare to donate their life’s work to a museum. 

WHEN: Thursday June 13 // 6 PM - 8 PM

WHERE: Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) Auditorium // 1500 Remount Road // Front Royal, VA  22630

WHY: We know that insects are fundamental to the basic functioning of many ecosystems // They pollinate almost two-thirds of all flowering plants, decompose leaf litter and wood debris to form humus, and underpin complex food webs in almost every region they inhabit // Yet, our understanding of how humans impact the diversity and composition of insect communities is limited // Last year, Virginia Working Landscapes undertook a pilot survey to begin a new research program to study these charismatic little critters // This work has already attracted so much attention that we decided we want to share even more stories about the world of insect research and foster discussions about the many ways they contribute to our lives.

HOW: This event is free, but registration is required // Click here to register online // If you have any questions about this event, please contact VWL's outreach coordinator, Charlotte Lorick, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


More information about the presentations:

Ashley Kennedy, PhD. | Ashley Kennedy just received her PhD in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware. Her dissertation research in Doug Tallamy's lab focused on bird-insect food webs to help guide avian conservation efforts. Ashley studied vervet monkeys for her undergraduate thesis research at Johns Hopkins University, graduating in 2009. She completed internships and seasonal positions at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (Maryland), the National Zoo (D.C.), and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (Virginia) between her undergraduate and graduate studies. In 2010, she began a MS project on planthopper taxonomy at the University of Delaware, describing several new species and genera in the process. She is a Science Policy Fellow of the Entomological Society of America, a 2018 recipient of the Entomological Society of America John Henry Comstock Graduate Student Award, a board-certified medical entomologist, and a member of the Delaware Native Species Commission

Improving our understanding of birds' diets is vital to avian conservation efforts. Once we know which insect groups are most important to birds and why, we will be better prepared to manage landscapes to facilitate bird conservation by planting the host plants those insects need for their survival and reproduction. With help from thousands of participants across the country, Dr. Kennedy completed several projects to investigate bird-insect food webs, and is eager to share what she's learned. Come and find out how we can turn our yards into better bird habitat by supporting the insects that birds need!

Read more about her "What Do Birds Eat?" project:


The Love Bugs | Watch the trailer:

Allison Otto is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, cinematographer, visual journalist, a two-time Telluride Mountain film Commitment Grant recipient, and a 2018 co-recipient of the Roy W Dean From The Heart grant. Her clients have included National Geographic, the BBC, CNN, and Lonely Planet. Allison graduated from Stanford with a bachelor’s in Communications and master’s in Sociology.

Maria Clinton is a filmmaker, photographer, and an adjunct film professor based in New York. Maria is a 2018 Telluride Mountain film Commitment Grant recipient and a 2018 co-recipient of the Roy W Dean From The Heart grant. Her clients have included NBC, CNN’s Great Big Story, and nonprofit organizations. As a filmmaker, her work focuses on sharing untold stories from underrepresented, shattering stereotypes, and reconstructing the narratives.


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Map To SCBI Auditorium and Parking:

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Virginia Working Landscapes
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
1500 Remount Road
Front Royal, Virginia 22630
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.