Massachusetts, June 10, 2021: The Massachusetts Chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA/Mass), is leading the charge in building a state-wide hub for native pollinator protection. Groups of native pollinator networks from the Boston area to the Berkshires are joining together to create the new Massachusetts Pollinator Network. To manage the new initiative, NOFA/Mass created a Pollinator Network Coordinator position and recently hired Dr. Rosemary Malfi. Dr Malfi is an ecologist by training; she earned a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia and holds a B.A. in Biology from Bryn Mawr College. For the last several years, she worked as a postdoctoral scientist at UC Davis and then UMass Amherst where she led research projects designed to better understand threats that face native bumble bee populations, such as disease, anthropogenic land use, and seasonal food scarcity. Her background includes involvement in STEM education and outreach and engagement with different stakeholders invested in the health of pollinator populations, including growers, beekeepers, and citizens concerned about food security and biodiversity loss.
Dr Malfi will support the mission of the Massachusetts Pollinator Network; to collect and coordinate the growing number of communities, organizations, and research groups working to protect pollinators across the Commonwealth, to strengthen existing connections and build new partnerships to accomplish shared goals, and to provide activists and advocates with the resources they need to succeed in their efforts.
Pollinators face many challenges, from habitat loss to pesticides, but the Massachusetts Pollinator Network is a step in the right direction along with the current groundswell of public interest in protecting their populations and the ecosystem services they provide.