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Fifty-two years ago, just a few weeks before the very first Earth Day, David started his butterfly conservation career. He wrote to his local newspaper imploring the town council to stop cutting down stinging nettles! Nettles are the food for caterpillars of Peacock and Tortoiseshell butterflies! This led to an interview and feature article in the newspaper where 15-year-old David talked of the need to conserve British butterflies.
A university degree in Zoology followed as well as a career as an agricultural entomologist with New South Wales Department of Agriculture and Washington State University, but David never forgot his butterfly roots. He researched Australian Monarch biology for his PhD and published many studies on butterfly biology and conservation in Australia and the Pacific Northwest. As one of the Daves in Dave Squared, he co-authored the ‘magisterial’ (according to David Attenborough) “Life Histories of Cascadia Butterflies”, then wrote “The Book of Caterpillars”. He is currently working on the “Lives of Butterflies” to be published in 2023.
David will present an overview of western monarch population dynamics and ecology focusing on the past five years. Based on his knowledge of Monarch biology and ecology that stretches across two continents and four decades, David will provide a holistic explanation of the recent decline (and increase) and the reasons why monarchs and their migration will persist in the west for decades to come.