Are we approaching an insect apocalypse?

Professor Dave Goulson

Insects are the most numerous species on Earth & play a critical role in the health of our ecosystem. But insect populations are on the decline. Are we approaching an insect apocalypse & can we reverse this trend?

Learn about this Garden Talk

Insects, from beetles to ants to flies, are the most populous species in the world. Humans have identified and named well over a million species of insects, but there could be 5 or 10 times as many different kinds.

But insects are fast-disappearing. Their biggest enemy is the industrialised farming methods that have evolved over the course of the last century. Enormous fields of monoculture crops spell disaster for insects, especially when those crops are doused with pesticides.

Would it really matter if insects were to die-off? According to Professor Dave Goulson, we cannot survive in a world free of insects due to the critical role they play in pollinating plants. Most of the fruits and vegetables we eat, including our favourite delicacies like coffee and chocolate, wouldn’t exist without insects.

In this Garden Talk, Professor Dave Goulson will share his insights into the exquisite insect world and why bugs and beetles are our friends. He will explain how close we really are to an insect apocalypse and what this would really mean for humanity. How can we reverse this dangerous trend and balance farming practices with creating habitats that will support the return of bees, butterflies and bugs?

Talk outline


50 minutes

About the Fellow

Professor Dave Goulson

Dave Goulson is a Professor of Biology at the School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex. He has published more than 400 articles on insect ecology and conservation and written 6 popular science books which have been translated into 19 languages.