Ecology & Conservation of
Migratory Monarch Butterflies

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monarch fieldwork

Monarchs butterflies have experienced significant population declines over the past two decades and our research suggests this decline is primarily the result of habitat loss on the breeding grounds. Ongoing research is focused on understanding the year-round population dynamics of this species to guide the development of effective conservation strategies across the annual cycle. To do so, we are are using laboratory and field experiments to estimate vital rates, developing a host of population models that link habitat availability, density-independent and density-dependent vital rates, weather and climate change, disease and migratory connectivity  across Canada, USA and Mexico. Population models with these attributes allow us to consider habitat loss and restoration, climate change and stochastic weather events to make optimal investment strategies at local to continental scales to conserve this iconic species.

Example publications