Dr. David James - Biology and Conservation of Washington Butterflies

David G. James PhD, Associate Professor of Entomology, Washington State University, Prosser

This month’s presentation will highlight the biology and conservation of selected butterfly species in central Washington. The talk will also cover current butterfly research and conservation endeavors that Dr James is pursuing with the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy in Yakima, the Washington Butterfly Association, and the Washington wine grape industry. He will also talk about how his work with citizen scientists (including some inmates of Washington State Penitentiary) is helping to unravel the mysteries of Monarch butterfly migration in the Pacific Northwest.

Speaker Bio: 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 such as locusts and mites.He earned a PhD on the winter biology of Monarch butterflies in Sydney, 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 185 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 IPM 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.