Xerces Society Joan Mosenthal DeWind Awardees Announced

The Xerces Society recently announced the recipients of the 2012 DeWind awards for Lepidoptera Research and Conservation:

Lepidoptera Research and Conservation Awards

Joan Mosenthal DeWind was a pioneering member of the Xerces Society. A psychiatric social worker by profession, she was also an avid butterfly gardener and an accomplished amateur lepidopterist. Her contributions of time, organizational expertise, and financial support were essential to the growth and success of the Xerces Society over the past 30 years. Joan also had a keen interest in young people, supporting what became the Young Entomologists’ Society. In Joan’s memory, Bill DeWind established this student research endowment fund. The Xerces Society administers two $3,750 awards each year for research into Lepidoptera conservation. We are now accepting applications for 2013 proposals. Please see the application instructions for submitting a proposal.

2012 award recipients

Lessons for conservation of montane butterfly metapopulations in fragmented habitats in the 21st century: The important role of local patch dynamics on metapopulation stability in response to climate change in the American Southwest.
Rachael Ryan – New Mexico State University

Montane butterflies occupying fragmented habitats have been identified as particularly vulnerable to the effect of climate change predicted over the 21st Century. The response to environmental stochastic events is controlled in part by the underlying population dynamics. For classic Levin-style metapopulations, with low dispersal rates, within-patch processes primarily direct population dynamics. The current study seeks to use genetic data from Euphydryas anicia cloudcrofti to understand within patch dynamics influencing the stability of the metapopulation, and use this data to model population viability in response to environmental stochastic events predicted for climate change in the Southwest over a 100-year time scale.

Land Use Abandonment in Eastern Mediterranean – effects on butterfly and moth communities
Jana Šlancarová – University of South Bohemia, Biology Center AS CR v. v. i., Institute of Entomology

The Southern Balkans belong to the Mediterranean global biodiversity hot-spot. As elsewhere in Europe, its biodiversity is threatened by land use intensification and abandonment. Negative consequences for Lepidoptera, well described from Iberian Peninsula, remain practically unknown for the Balkans. We will combine timed surveys (butterflies) and light trapping (moths) to detect abandonment effects on formerly grazed lands in Bulgaria, Macedonia and Greece. Proposed study regions cover the diverse natural and socioeconomic conditions of the Southern Balkans. Diverse data analysis approaches (community indices, ordination, life history traits) should provide a comprehensive picture of how land abandonment affects Lepidoptera in eastern Mediterranean.

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