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Illinois entomology professor May Berenbaum to receive 2011 Tyler Prize
Date:3/21/2011

984, Berenbaum founded the annual Insect Fear Film Festival, a popular campus event that combines insect horror movies with basic education about the creatures portrayed in the films. In 2007, she initiated the BeeSpotter website, a tool for collecting information about the abundance and diversity of wild bees in the U.S. The website helps people identify local wild bees and post photographs and enter geographic information about them. Berenbaum also founded the campus Pollinatarium, a free-standing museum dedicated to broadening the public's understanding of flowering plants and their pollinators.

Berenbaum was the 2009 recipient of the Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The committee giving the award commended her for her extensive service on the National Research Council. She is a National Associate, an honor reserved for National Academy of Sciences members who make extraordinary contributions to the NRC.

Berenbaum has been a prominent advocate for pollinating insects. She chaired the committee on the status of pollinators in North America, which released its findings in October 2006 months before apiculturists first reported the widespread disappearance of honey bees in North America, a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Berenbaum emerged as spokesperson for the scientific community on the disorder, and has conducted research, written op-ed essays and testified before Congress on the issue.

"The university is fortunate to have a faculty member of such expertise, energy and enthusiasm for her work," said Bob Easter, interim vice president and chancellor of the Urbana c
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Contact: Diana Yates
diya@illinois.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert  

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