PhD Student (2020-present)
Butterflies provide essential pollination services, are important food sources, and act as indicators of ecosystem function. Habitat loss and degradation have caused populations to decline and many species are predicted to go extinct. Effective conservation requires detailed information about a species’ demographics, life history, behaviour, and distribution, as well as factors influencing population growth. Such information can be challenging to collect for many butterfly species due to variable detectability at all life stages, cryptic larval stages, and limited knowledge of life history including dispersal.
The Mottled duskywing butterfly (Erynnis martialis) is an endangered species in Canada whose range is limited to its host plants which occupy oak savanna and prairie habitats, both globally endangered ecosystems. The rate of decline and viability of remaining Mottled duskywing populations are currently unknown due to limited demographic and habitat distribution data. For my PhD, I will monitor several remaining populations in Ontario using mark resighting surveys to collect information about their population dynamics and fill these knowledge gaps. This data will be used to model projected population estimates under various management strategies and determine best practices for ensuring its survival into the future.
I completed my HBSc in Zoology at the University of Guelph with a focus on entomology. During my MES in Environment, Resources, and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo (2017) I studied saproxylic beetle assemblages in urban forests and their correlation with tree species and Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) management.
Demarse, A., Trendos, E., Linton, J., Flockhart, T., Brewster, A., Keyghobadi, N., Custode, L., Norris, R. Phenology, movement, and population size of an endangered butterfly, the mottled duskywing (Erynnis martialis). Endangered Species Research – In Review