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We strive to understand the evolutionary and ecological mechanisms that generate and maintain biological diversity using population genomics, experimental manipulations, and field studies. Our goal is to not only test basic evolutionary and ecological theory, but also directly inform policy and management decisions that will ultimately determine the fate of biodiversity.

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Kayce Anderson’s manuscript on the effects of land use and climate change on butterflies accepted for publication in Conservation Biology!

IMG_1593Vanessa anabella (Nymphalidae) Using over 2 decades of butterfly data collected by Art Shapiro at University of California, Davis, Kayce (Casner) Anderson and co-authors modeled the effect of changing land-use and climate on butterfly richness at the urban-agricultural front around Sacramento, California. Over the last 20 years there has been a marked decline in butterfly richness that is associated with conversion of farming and ranch land to urban development. Additionally, increasing summer minimum temperatures and fall maximum temperatures negatively affect butterfly richness while increasing spring minimum temperatures and increasing summer precipitation have a positive effect.

Citation: Casner K.L., M.L. Forister, J.M. O’Brien, J. Thorne, D. Waetjen, A.M. Shapiro. 2014. Loss of agricultural land and a changing climate contribute to the decline of an urban butterfly fauna. Conservation Biology.

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