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The Birds and the Bugs: impacts of neonicotinoid insecticides in Missouri floodplain wetlands

Presentation by Lisa Webb, biologist with the Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Missouri

Lisa Webb has been researching the impacts of neonicotinoid pesticides on non-target taxa, such as birds and insects. She will share her research on the impacts of “neonics” on floodplain wetlands.

Birds and Bugs

A small bird checks out an insect sampling station in a wetland near the Missouri River. Photo courtesy Lisa Webb, University of Missouri

Time and Place

Tuesday, October 8, 2019
7:00 pm

Les Bourgeois Vineyards Bistro
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Presentation by biologist Lisa Webb, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Missouri-Columbia

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The Bistro Restaurant is closed on Tuesdays, but the bar will be open. You ARE welcome to come early, bring some food and gather with friends before the presentation. Speaker Series attendees are welcome after 6:00 p.m.

Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticide widely adopted for agricultural use throughout North America and Europe, in large part because they are selectively more toxic to insects than vertebrates.  Neonicotinoids are highly water-soluble and have reported half-lives of greater than 1000 days. The combination of these characteristics in concurrence with their widespread use suggests horizontal movement of neonicotinoids via runoff into surrounding terrestrial habitats, as well as various surface waters such as streams and wetlands.

Due to the widespread use of neonicotinoids in the midwestern United States and the recent concern over the effects on non-target taxa, Lisa Webb and her colleagues have implemented a series of field experiments to quantify neonicotinoid concentrations in Missouri wetlands and associated impacts to aquatic invertebrates and reliant avian species.

She will provide a brief overview on neonicotinoids and then discuss the results of recent studies evaluating the distribution of neonicotinoids in Missouri wetlands and what this means for aquatic invertebrates, wetland food webs and tree swallow nesting efforts.

Lisa Webb is the Assistant Unit Leader of the Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and Cooperative Associate Professor in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Missouri – Columbia.


  • 14020 W. Hwy BB, Rocheport, MO
  • Take I-70 to the Rocheport, MO, exit (Exit #115). It’s the first exit east of the Missouri River.
  • Head north toward Rocheport.
  • After about a mile, turn left at the sign for Les Bourgeois Bistro. Follow the signs to the Bistro. You will probably need to park in the lot above the Bistro and walk the trail down.
  • The presentations are held in upstairs in the restaurant. The restaurant is no longer open on Tuesdays but the bar is! You are welcome to bring your own food or snacks.

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Special thanks to Les Bourgeois Vineyards for giving us the opportunity to use their beautiful space overlooking the Missouri River. All speakers are presenting for free! Thank you all for sharing your knowledge with us!

And a special tip of the hat to volunteer David Owens who has been doing the sound for the Speaker Series for several years.

Our thanks to Dave and the good people of MoRivCC who are video recording these presentations when possible.

The Big Muddy Speaker Series also takes place monthly in Kansas City and St. Charles.

The views and opinions expressed by our presenters do not necessarily reflect the view or policies of Missouri River Relief, the Big Muddy Speaker Series or any of the partners that support this public forum. The Big Muddy Speaker Series believes that hearing diverse perspectives is a crucial building block for an informed public.