Monarch butterflies present a dramatic example of phenotypic plasticity in their spring/summer non-migratory generations versus iconic fall migratory generation. Their migration involves not only species-specific adaptations (e.g. long-distance, “inexperienced” navigation to specific sites), but also functions that are common to all migrators (e.g. the specific temporal coordination of behavior and physiology). As such, Monarch migration provides a general model for understanding the proximate mechanisms of animal migration and a basis to investigate the conservation and diversification of these mechanisms among animal migrators. Current projects focus on three particular areas of Monarch biology: molecular eco-genomics, multi-sensory integration, and behavioral evolution.

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