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Webinar: Pollinator Ecology

Wed, April 15, 2020 @ 12:00 pm EDT - 1:00 pm EDT

On Wednesdays at noon, ELA invites you on A Walk in the Garden, a virtual weekly diversion as we adjust to the restrictions that the COVID-19 virus has forced onto our lives.

Presented as free webinars to gardeners everywhere, these presentations invite garden and landscape experts to share gardening tips, beautiful images, and inspiration. We hope anyone who is isolating, quarantining, or sheltering-in-place will find comfort and collective strength with a communal walk in the garden.

A (Virtual) Walk in the Garden with Rebecca McMackin
Pollinator Ecology

The vast majority of plants rely on pollinators to reproduce. From bees, to butterflies, to birds and bats, these pollinator partners shaped the evolution of flowers, giving us so much of the beauty we appreciate today. However, these exciting dynamics, in which a flower’s pollen is carried to a stigma, are fraught with trickery, bribery, thievery, and of course, salacious plant sex.

On this virtual walk, you will learn the basics of pollination ecology. Why do plants have flowers? How did they evolve? And specifically, what are flowers doing? Why are they so pretty and smell so good to us, non-pollinating primates?

Certainly flowers are beautiful, but they are also complex communication appendages, sending scents out for insects to locate, directing flight patterns with well marked landing strips, deceiving gullible males to mate with them, all for the sake of pollination and thus, reproduction.

Many lectures teach audiences who our pollinators are and how to encourage them. But this talk will focus on flowers, their functionality and communication. By the end of the presentation, you will be able to “read” flowers and come to know the true desires of the organisms you cultivate.


Rebecca McMackin is Director of Horticulture at Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn, NY. She is an ecologically obsessed horticulturist and garden designer. By day, she is the Director of Horticulture for Brooklyn Bridge Park, where she manages 85 acres of diverse parkland organically and with an eye towards habitat creation for birds, butterflies, and soil microorganisms. In her imaginary free time, Rebecca writes about landscape management and pollination ecology, as well as designs the occasional garden. She sits on the boards of Metro Hort Group and Ecological Landscape Alliance, and is a NOFA-certified Landcare Professional as well as an ISA-certified Arborist.



Wed, April 15, 2020
12:00 pm EDT - 1:00 pm EDT
Event Category:


ELA Office