Animal Doctors – the Movie

Our lab was fortunate to contribute to Jacques Mitsch’s film “Animal Doctors” in 2013. This was a great opportunity to feature our work on monarch medication alongside the self-medication behaviors of other animals, including chimpanzees and sheep. The film was published on Youtube in 2016.

Deep Look – monarch parasites

In summer 2023 we had the pleasure to host Josh Cassidy and Gabriela Quiros to produce a Deep Look episode for KQED. The video does a wonderful job showing the life cycle of monarchs and their parasites, and explaining how non-native milkweeds may contribute to greater parasite infection.

Monarch and pollinator garden

In 2013, lab members Amanda Pierce and Michael Maudsley accompanied President and Mrs Carter to the monarch overwintering sites in Mexico, and President and Mrs Carter also visited our lab; pictures can be found here. On 21 June 2014, lab members worked with Trees Atlanta and Carter Center staff and volunteers to create a pollinator and monarch garden at the Carter Center. Since that time, Jaap joined the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail (RCBT) as board member, and lab members collaborated with RCBT members and Jaap’s family to do some much needed maintenance to the garden in summer 2023.

St. Marks Monarch Butterfly Festival

Every October, we take part in the St Marks Monarch Butterfly Festival. Here we provide information on monarch butterflies and their parasites, and also give a demonstration on how to test whether monarchs are infected with parasites. The St Marks National Wildlife Refuge, where the festival is held, is a beautiful wildlife refuge, which monarchs use as a stopover on their migration from North America to Mexico every fall. Besides monarchs, the refuge is host to many birds, alligators, otters and bobcats.

Other outreach activities

Members from our lab regularly visit butterfly festivals and nature events to talk about monarch butterflies and their parasites. For example, we have visited the Pismo Beach Monarch Grove, and also contribute to local nature rallies. We have also worked with high school teachers in our lab. In 2013, we set up a walk-in tent with live butterflies at the Butterfly Bash Family Events at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. In 2014, we took part in the first annual Atlanta Science Festival. We have contributed to many school science nights and hosted people in our lab to learn about our research.

Butterfly Bash: Camden in the butterfly tent, Jaap showing butterflies and Amanda dressing up like a monarch at the Fernbank Butterfly Bash Family Event, February 2013.