Allegra’s research will follow a newly introduced species to North America, the European common blue butterfly (Polyommatus icarus). Since its first observance in 2005, this butterfly species has spread quickly through Montreal and its outskirts, as well as into Ontario and the Northeastern United States. What is most interesting about it though is that we are seeing the European common blue thriving under the same conditions that are believed to be causing its populations to decline within its native range. Through fieldwork and movement based statistical models, this project will determine the conditions needed for patches to be habitable for this butterfly species and understand how its populations may continue to spread throughout their newly adopted range.
The working title of Allegra's thesis is Polyommatus icarus movement patterns in North American urban landscapes.
Contact Allegra for more information here: allegra.spen AT gmail.com