This post comes courtesy of Katie Barry, a Ph.D. student in Stefan Schnitzer’s lab group at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. I am especially excited for you all to read about Katie because she was my field assistant in the summers of 2009 and 2010. Katie was the best assistant I could have asked for and ended up becoming a good friend of mine.
“Although my current research focuses on plant community ecology, as an undergraduate at Rutgers University I developed a passion for moth hunting. On the precipice of graduating with a degree in environmental policy, I was offered a position as a field assistant by Elena Tartaglia studying the pollination practices of Hawkmoths (Sphingidae). After many, many hours spent in front of a UV light (by the name of J. Lo), I joined the Center for Urban Restoration Ecology team at Rutgers as a research assistant where I was able to continue to work with Elena on her other moth projects.
After moving to Wisconsin to begin grad school in the Schnitzer lab, I spent 6 months doing research in Panama where the sheer abundance and diversity of moths is just INCREDIBLE!
Milwaukee may not be Panama but it still has a plethora of mothing opportunities. During National Moth Week my partner in crime Allysa Hallett (another UWM grad student) and I will be catching moths in urban Milwaukee and out at the UWM Field Station in Saukville, WI. Milwaukee itself has a ton of beautiful urban green-space and is going to provide an interesting place for us to do some urban moth sampling. The Cedarburg Bog has a rich biological history with hundreds of species of moths. I personally am hoping to catch some new Hawkmoths. It would really make my life to catch a Pandora Sphinx (Eumorpha pandorus).”
Thanks for the post, Katie! (And yes, we really did name the MVL “J. Lo”!)