4/5 at 6 pm – David James – Western Monarchs: A Holistic View

“Western Monarchs: A Holistic View of Recent History, Ecology, Resilience and Adaptation to a Changing Climate” with David James.

A video of this meeting is available at: https://youtu.be/uoGBi80JHnw

This will be a slightly reworked version of the keynote presentation I gave in January at the Western Monarch Advocates Summit in Pismo Beach, California. It will focus on a ‘big picture’ analysis of the history, ecology and remarkable adaptation of monarchs to changing environments. Too often, monarch scientists tend to overstate the impact and importance of the particular piece of monarch biology they are studying. The holistic view, encompassing all aspects of monarch natural history, rarely gets reported. I will conclude with consideration of how harmful, restriction of us, the people, from interacting with monarchs is. Not only for survival of the monarch but for insects generally.


Associate Professor in Entomology
Washington State University, Prosser, WA

David began his entomological career as an eight-year-old in England by rearing caterpillars at home. A university degree in Zoology was followed by a PhD on Monarch Butterfly Biology in Sydney, Australia where he worked for 23 years as an agricultural entomologist for the New South Wales government. In 1999, he moved to Washington State University, developing biological control systems for grapes and hops, but he never forgot his butterfly roots. In 2011, he co-authored with Dave Nunnallee, Life Histories of Cascadia butterflies and has conducted Monarch tagging studies in the PNW since 2012 which have defined Monarch migration in this region. His deep experience in many aspects of Monarch biology provide him with a much more optimistic view of Monarch population persistence than many of his contemporaries.