Kati Moore and Laura Hamon leading butterfly workshops this week

Posted on Mar 6, 2017

Lab technicians and former undergraduate students Kati Moore and Laura Hamon are leading two butterfly workshops this week at the NC Botanical Garden as part of the Mason Farm Butterfly Project. For more information please visit their website. Next time you’re at Mason Farm for a run/hike/bird watching, check out their newly installed brochure box to find a butterfly checklist and help us monitor butterfly diversity at Mason Farm!


Joel and Kate published in Science

Posted on Mar 6, 2017
Joel Kingsolver and graduate student Kate Augustine were recently published as coauthors in a 20 author study in Science on 3/3/17. The paper entitled “Precipitation drives global variation in natural selection” came out of a National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) working group they were both a part of in 2014. Congrats to all involved!

Darwin Day 2017 at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Posted on Feb 14, 2017

Elizabeth Moore brought the caterpillar experiment to the NC Museum of Natural Science’s Darwin Day 2017 on February 11th. Darwin Day celebrates science in honor of Darwin’s birthday. She was accompanied by Willett lab graduate students Meggan Alston and Jeeyun Lee, and undergraduates Sarah Monroe, Anna Pearson, and Christina Hill.

SICB 2017 in New Orleans

Posted on Jan 9, 2017

Joel Kingsolver and postdoc Matt Nielsen presented at the Society for Integrated Comparative Biology 2017 Annual meeting in New Orleans, LA, January 4-8, 2017. Joel’s talk was titled “Inconstancy is informative: Estimating performance curves in fluctuating environments” and Matt’s talk was titled “Interactions between Color and Behavior for Aposematic and Thermoregulatory Functions in a Caterpillar”. You can find their abstracts online here and here.

Joel Kingsolver presenting at The Art of Science and the Science of Art on 11/18-11/19

Posted on Nov 14, 2016

Joel Kingsolver is participating in a weekend seminar (Nov 18-19) of the UNC Program in the Humanities, The Art of Science and the Science of Art. Part of UNC’s Adventures in Ideas series, the seminar includes presentations and discussions by a composer, an art historian, an astrophysicist and an evolution biologist to explore creativity in the arts and sciences.  Joel’s presentation is entitled Darwin, Fisher, Bach:  Inspiring Themes, Endless Variation. For more information see: http://humanities.unc.edu/programs/adventures-in-ideas/the-art-of-science-and-the-science-of-art/goldbergvariations-markfarmer-lores

F.E.M.M.E.S Day Camp at UNC

Posted on Nov 1, 2016

The women of the Kingsolver and Willett labs including graduate students Kate Augustine, Elizabeth Moore, and Meggan Alston and undegraduates Charlotte Hopson and Anna Pearson represented women in science at UNC’s Females Excelling More in Mathematics Engineering and Science (FEMMES) Day Camp on October 29th, 2016 for 4th-6th grade girls. They brought the caterpillar experiment and included an art activity creating “caterpillar tracks” using finger paint on the prolegs of some wandering Manduca sexta. Everyone had a great time learning about thermal biology and making art.

Beta Butterfly Bash!

Posted on Aug 16, 2016

Aug-16-workshopTechnicians Laura Hamon and Kati Moore hosted a workshop at the NC Botanical Garden on August 16, 2016 to do some beta-testing of their training materials and monitoring protocol. They had 22 staff and volunteers at the Garden join us for a brief crash course on common butterflies, followed by a field trip to Mason Farm to see some first-hand. They had perfect butterflying weather – hot and sunny – and saw about 20 different species of butterflies, including Hackberry Emperors, Silvery Checkerspots, and a flurry of Cloudless Sulphurs. Thank you to everyone who was able to join! Stay tuned for more volunteer opportunities summer 2017!

Photo: Undergraduate student Charlotte Hopson is pictured holding a friendly Silvery Checkerspot while excited volunteers take photos.

Kate Augustine featured on the Graduate Women in Science Website

Posted on Aug 3, 2016

Graduate student Kate Augustine recently participated in the Graduate Women in Science National Meeting in Raleigh, NC on June 25, 2016. She presented a poster titled “Geographic variation in the responses of insect herbivores to nutrient balance and temperature” and also brought the Caterpillar  Experiment to the outreach session of the meeting at the Museum of Natural Sciences. Check out the photo of her holding a Manduca sexta caterpillar on the banner of the Graduate Women in Science website!

Joel Kingsolver was elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Posted on Apr 21, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Joel Kingsolver who was recently elected as one of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 2016 class of members! The American Academy was founded in 1780 and its members of 4,600 Fellows and 600 Foreign Honorary Members includes many of the most accomplished scholars and practitioners worldwide. More information about the 2016 class can be found here.

Laura Hamon receives highest honors on her undergraduate thesis

Posted on Apr 13, 2016

Congratulations to undergraduate student Laura Hamon for receiving highest honors on her undergraduate thesis entitled “Effect of Climate Change on Spring Appearance dates in North Carolina Butterflies”. Laura started collaborating on this research during Summer 2015 with graduate student Kate Augustine and Dr. Kingsolver as part of her Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, and continued the work as part of her thesis during the 2015-2016 working with Dr. Allen Hurlbert. Congrats Laura!