Hello, and welcome to the first post of “Butterflies and Science”! My name is Jessica and I’m a second year PhD student at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill studying how butterflies are responding to climate change. The plan for this blog is to post about my research and other interesting topics relating to the science of butterflies. In the coming weeks I will be joined in this blogging venture by other grad students doing research with butterflies, but until then I’ll try to explain why I began this blog in the first place.
Why did I start a blog? Well, often scientists are really good at communicating their research with each other, but they sometimes find it difficult to communicate their research with the general public. The goal of this blog is to guide readers through the scientific process in an exciting way that shows how biological research actually unfolds itself. I (and my fellow grad student authors) are really passionate about research and we hope that by showing you what lies beneath the mystery of “doing science” that we can share our passion with you. I hope this blog will be funny and entertaining as well as informative and maybe even thought-provoking. As the title of the blog states we all work with butterflies, and you can read a bit about our different research questions (and what we do outside of science) in our “About” sections (coming soon!).
Here is a short summary of what I (GradStudentJess) specifically work on. My project involves exploring to what extent butterflies at high elevations in the Rocky Mountains are able to adapt and evolve traits like how long it takes them grow from caterpillars to butterflies or how big they get as a chrysalis in response to their specific habitat as well as to a changing climate. If you are interested in reading more please check out “About GradStudentJess” and you can follow my day to day research adventures by following me on twitter @jessicakhiggins. We hope that you enjoy reading about our scientific journeys and please leave comments with any thoughts or questions you have!