Monarch Poster and Award

Anna Shattuck (undergraduate) presented her poster, “The effect of infection on thermoregulatory behavioral fever of monarch caterpillars.” at the Society For Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) in January 2023 and won the award for the

Best Student Poster for SICB’s Division of Ecoimmunology & Disease Ecology! We are looking forward to following the career of this talented young scientist!



New Monarch Paper

In a new paper, former undergraduate, Lewis Greenstein, did a large review of all the publications he could find and  compiled 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 the  high 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

New Sandpiper Paper from Cazlab

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

John Herbert, State Non-Game Bird Biologist, Rhode Island. 

NSF Convergence Research Grant on Sustainable Coffee

Tulane PhD student Fabiola Rodríguez, left, conducts research with Honduran biologist David Murillo on a coffee farm in Yoro, Honduras. (Photo by Darío Alvarado)

Caz Taylor was awarded a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Growing Convergence Research program. This 5-year endeavor will help transform coffee production in Honduras into an industry that is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. Click here to read more about this new project!

Entomological Society of America presentations from Caz Lab

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:







A recording of Lewis Greenstein’s Entomological Society of America talk is available on demand for conference attendees at the following link: It can be accessed now until January 1st.


Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation

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.”

Congratulations Graduates!

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.