iowabiologist

Entrou: 25 de mar. de 2016 Última vez ativo: 21 de out. de 2019

I'm a research associate in the Entomology Department of Iowa State University, where I like to do projects related to insect ecology, phenology, migration, and behavior.

My nearly-lifelong passion has been observing butterflies of the genus Vanessa - Red Admirals, Painted Ladies, American Ladies, and West Coast Ladies. It all began when I was walking near Carver Hall on the ISU campus one April afternoon and stirred up a Red Admiral that was perching on the sidewalk. It flew around me quite intensely and then returned to the same spot on the sidewalk. Then, a few minutes later, another Red Admiral flew in. The first one shot up to intercept it; they hovered together briefly, then chased back and forth, and then the first butterfly chased the other one around six or seven turns of a broad spiral up to the treetops. Then the intruder flew off and the occupant dropped down toward its perch on the sidewalk. Territorial behavior! With that, I was captivated. Watching them soon became an undergraduate research project, and later part of a graduate degree program. Eventually I became interested in their migration and seasonal distribution and started the Red Admiral and Painted Lady Research Site (https://vanessa.ent.iastate.edu), and invited observers throughout North America to share their observations of these butterflies. Most recently, David Kaposi (@dkaposi) suggested I start a parallel project page on iNaturalist, so the Vanessa Migration Project page was born. You can find it at https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/vanessa-migration-project .

My other interests? Perhaps more to add later....

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