My name is Sarah Seiter and I’m a PhD Candidate in Evolutionary Biology at UNC Chapel Hill. I was stoked that Jess invited me to join the blog, because I think science is full of cool stories about the natural world and the people who study it.
I work with Dr. Joel Kingsolver, studying the invasive cabbage white butterfly. This invasive insect was introduced to North America in 1860 and quickly spread across the continent. It’s now a major pest of crops in the cabbage family. My research focuses on how this small population of butterflies expanded and was able to colonize so many new habitats and climates. Specifically, we’re interested in studying how the cabbage white adapted to temperature, season length, and parasites in its many new homes.
I also did a summer fellowship at the Laboratory of Insect Ecology in Kyoto, Japan. For my project in Japan, I replicated my experiments from North America on the Japanese population, which invaded 100 years earlier in the 1700s.
When I’m not traveling for science, I like to travel for fun, do yoga, and watch horror movies.