In a new paper, former undergraduate, Lewis Greenstein, did a large review of all the publications he could find andcompiled a comprehensive list of all the host plants eaten by monarch caterpillars. He classified all hosts as “high performance” or “low performance”and found that thehigh performance hosts had on average higher cardenolide concentrations than the low performance hosts. Cardenolides (or Cardiac glycosides) are the toxic compounds that monarchs are adapted to consume that make them toxic to predators. Lewis also did an experiment in which he raised monarchs on low performance host plants to measure their survival. Lewis graduated with Honors in 2021 and has spent the last year as a Public Health Entomology Technician with the Illinois Natural History Survey. You can read the paper, which started out as Lewis’ honors thesis, here
Congratulations to Dr. Steele who graduated today with her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. We are so very proud of her! Christen has also been awarded a Gulf Research Program Fellowship for the coming year, a huge honor. We look forward to following her future achievements .
Congratulations to former PhD student, John Herbert, who published an article from his dissertation work in the Journal of Animal Ecology about spring stopover ecology of semipalmated sandpipers along the Louisiana coast. During spring migration, we used nanotags on semipalmated sandpipers and the Motus network to investigate how habitat quality affected migratory behavior. Our findings emphasized the importance of high-quality wetlands on the northern Gulf of Mexico coast, which is under continued threats from sea level rise and hurricanes. Please check out the paper, Migration tactics and connectivity of a Nearctic‐Neotropical migratory shorebird. John Herbert, David Mizrahi, & Caz Taylor
Kiah was elected to serve on the Waterbird Society Council, starting her 3-year term on January 1, 2022. Pictured here is Kiah in addition to the other newly-elected council members. Clockwise, they are Ricardo Zambrano (president-elect), Kiah Williams, Michelle Stantial, Marisa Takada Martinez, and Aliya Caldwell.
The Entomological Society of American Annual Meeting will be held in Denver, CO, USA from Oct 31-November 3.
Christen Steele will be presenting in-person for conference attendees on Monday, November 1st at 9am MDT.
Details on her presentation, titled “The use of citizen science data to determine spatio-temporal patterns in monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) parasite infection in the Southeastern US” can be found at the following link: https://cdmcd.co/DwyZKY
A recording of Lewis Greenstein’s Entomological Society of America talk is available on demand for conference attendees at the following link: https://cdmcd.co/RrwD36. It can be accessed now until January 1st.
Fabiola Rodríguez Vásquez will participate this week (October 26, 2021) in the Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation (SMBC) virtual conference which is organized by the El Salvador SMBC Chapter. She will present on how the landscape that surrounds coffee farms in Honduras influence performance and preference metrics of declining migratory bird species. This year’s theme of the SMBC is “For a sustainable future for all in Mesoamerica”, in honor of the Sustainable Development Goals proposed by the United Nations.”
John Herbert graduated with his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in August 2021. His dissertation is entitled, Survival, Effects of Habitat Change, and Migratory Tactics of Nearctic-Neotropical Migratory Shorebirds. John has moved on to an exciting position as the State Non-game Bird Biologist for Rhode Island.
Lewis Greenstein graduated in May 2021 with his B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.