National Moth Week is proud to announce a new member to our team. Meet Elena Tartaglia.
Elena will earn her PhD in Ecology from Rutgers this upcoming December. Her research focuses on moths of the family Sphingidae, which are large, pollinating moths commonly called hawkmoths. She has studied various aspects of nocturnal hawkmoth ecology and behavior such as their abundance and diversity in fragmented urban systems, their nectar diets, and their role as pollinators in the urban landscape of the NJ-NY metropolitan area. She also studies day-flying hawkmoths, commonly called clearwing moths. Since these moths are mimics of bumblebees, she has been comparing their nectar feeding behaviors to the bees that they mimic and the nocturnal moths to which they are related. Though she began her graduate career as a plant ecologist, she has since embraced entomology wholeheartedly. Elena has a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Drew University and has been involved in ecology and environmental education since graduating. She has worked as an environmental educator for NJ Audubon Society and as an educator, native plant propagator and meadow restorationist for Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve. In her spare time, Elena “enjoys” writing her dissertation and trying to have her data published.