Researcher’s Stories Series Uploads

Over the past 6 weeks we’ve heard a variety of talks from researchers working in butterfly conservation. Our Researcher’s Stories series ran every Wednesday starting from May 4th and wrapping up last week on the 8th June. The series aimed to showcase the research at the forefront of conservation, as well as giving our audience the opportunity to ask researchers their own questions.

In case you didn’t get the chance to see all of them, all the talks have been posted to YouTube and a link to each one can be found below.

Thank you so much to everyone who attended the series and, of course, to all of our speakers for their fantastic and insightful talks.

Butterflies Through Time: Using wildlife of the past to guide conservation of the future

Matthew Hayes

PhD student, University of Cambridge

Over the last two years the butterflies through time project has aimed to engage people with the natural world and environmental change, both past and present, by linking historical museum collections with contemporary conservation initiatives. In this video, research assistant Matt Hayes as he gives an overview of the project; from museum specimens and modern wildlife conservation, to public engagement events and adapting to a global pandemic.

The extinction and reintroduction of the chequered skipper butterfly: 220 years of history and mystery in England

Jamie Wildman

PhD student, University of Northampton

From being declared extinct in 1976, to its successful reintroduction to its historical stronghold -Rockingham Forest- in 2018, the chequered skipper butterfly has undergone a remarkable journey. Jamie Wildman discusses the chequered skippers amazing 220-year story and the power of reintroducing butterflies to the English landscape.

Pinning down the butterfly effect

Galina Jonsson

PhD student at the Natural History Museum, London

We are in the midst of a climate emergency, and incomplete knowledge of historical biodiversity change is limiting our understanding of the separate and interacting effects of climate change, land-use change and other human pressures on wildlife. In this talk, Galina Jonsson discusses the process of digitalising the Natural History Museum’s collection and the benefits this resource can bring to butterfly conservation.

How can butterflies help us understand climate change?

Professor Jane Hill

Professor of Ecology at the University of York

The climate is changing and these changes are having huge impacts on biodiversity. Through her research on butterflies, Professor Jane Hill discusses the importance of understanding these impacts, and how we can help species respond, adapt and survive climate change.

Cool as a caterpillar: the challenges and opportunities of researching across the life cycle

Esme Ashe-Jepson

PhD student, University of Cambridge

Climate change is threatening many ecosystems worldwide. In order to manage and conserve species, we need to understand the effects of temperature on wildlife. However, conservation is challenged by knowledge gaps in how this will affect species across different stages in their life cycle. Esme Ashe-Jepson discusses temperature’s role in the small blue’s egg distribution and how this can help inform management in nature reserves.

The extinction and re-establishment of the Large blue butterfly in Britain

Professor Jeremy A Thomas, OBE

Emeritus Professor of Ecology, University of Oxford; Chair of the Royal Entomological Society’s Conservation Committee

The Large blue has long been an iconic species among British wildlife. However, despite many unsuccessful attempts at conservation, UK populations had been in decline for 150 years. Still, this all changed with a successful re-introduction programme guided by research from Professor Jeremy A Thomas OBE. Here, he discusses identifying the specialisations that led to the large blue’s extinction, and how these key insights were applied to generate its successful re-introduction.

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