Georgetown University biology professor, Leslie Ries, is studying the “impact of climate change and natural disasters on the springtime emergence of plants, birds and insects.” Ries has received several grants from the National Science Foundation to research how monarch butterfly habitats have changed in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. These grants give Ries and her students the opportunity to study the impacts of climate change and natural disasters in order to determine how to best respond to these changes.
Monarch butterflies make a multigenerational migration from Canada and the U.S. to Mexico each year, which makes the perfect species to examine in order to better understand climate change. Monarchs have been slowly declining for the past 20 years, with reasons attributed to the increase of tropical storms and hurricanes. Ries “sees her research as vital in helping people understand the impacts of climate change and major weather events on complex ecological systems.”
To read more about the research by Ries, visit Georgetown news.