Life Histories of the Cascadia Butterflies
David G. James PhD, Associate Professor of Entomology
Washington State University, Prosser
Dr. James explores behind the scenes of researching and writing the book, Life Histories of Cascadia Butterflies. Notable butterflies and their life histories in the eastern Cascades and shrub-steppe in central Washington, the charisma of butterflies and their importance in ecology are highlighted. His talk will also cover current butterfly research and conservation endeavors that he is pursuing with the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy in Yakima and with the Washington wine grape industry. He will also explain how his work with citizen scientists has helped unravel the mysteries of Monarch butterfly migration in the Pacific northwest.
David James developed a passion for entomology at the age of 8 in England by rearing caterpillars in his bedroom. He studied Zoology at the University of Salford near Manchester, then migrated to Australia to work for the New South Wales Department of Agriculture on ways of controlling agricultural pests like locusts and mites. A PhD on the winter biology of Monarch butterflies in Sydney followed and a career as a biocontrol scientist in horticulture blossomed. David developed successful conservation biological control systems for stink bugs in citrus and for mites in pasture, grapes and peaches. In 1999 David became an Associate Professor at Washington State University at Prosser and worked on conservation biological control of insect and mite pests of hops and grapes. David has published 182 peer-reviewed scientific papers and in 2011 he co-authored and published a widely-acclaimed book on the life histories of Pacific Northwest butterflies which renowned British naturalist David Attenborough called "Magisterial". Currently he is working on sustainability of Integrated Pest Management and conservation biological control in viticulture, insect conservation and community research and education projects with Washington wine grape growers, Washington State Penitentiary and Yakima’s Cowiche Canyon Conservancy.