The estimates of the monarch butterfly overwintering population were announced Thursday February 9th by WWF Mexico. The butterflies are so dense at their dozen or so mountain-top clustering sites that overwintering butterflies cannot be counted. Instead, the area of forest that is densely coated with butterflies (at about 5,000 butterflies per square meter looking up into the canopy) is estimated… Read more
Cornell’s Plant-Insect Group, affectionately known as PIG, has been meeting for weekly discussions every semester for at least 12 years. In the old days, Paul Feeny and Dick Root would join us for inspiring discussions, merging the past with the future. These days, the Ithaca group, digitally connected with folks in Geneva, NY, is frequently a gaggle of over 30… Read more
The plight of monarch butterflies is often in the news and many scientists around the world are working hard to understand their annual migratory cycle. How do the monarchs produced during summer in the northern reaches of America contribute to the overwintering population in Mexico? The origins of monarch butterflies that make it to Mexico has been hotly debated and… Read more
Eurosta solidaginis, the goldenrod gall fly, a tasty treat for vertebrates, made sweeter by the winter cold — sugar is the anti-freeze. Photo by Katie Holmes.
Winter Walks are a tradition of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at Cornell University, started by Professor Peter Marks in the 1970s. Winter walks grew out of the teaching of Plant Ecology field labs… Read more
My new book, Monarchs and Milkweed, a highly illustrated popular science book will be available in late March from Princeton University Press. Here is what Carl Safina, author of Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel, says: It’s impossible to imagine the world without monarch butterflies. But they face mounting challenges. This clear, fact-packed book looks at this astonishing and… Read more
Hi folks! Welcome to the revised landing page, with the added benefit of blog posts. You’ll see posts related to interesting ecology and evolutionary biology, monarch butterflies, and and our plant-insect interactions weekly discussions here. For this first post, I simply want to let you know that past “Lab News” back to 2009 can be found here.… Read more