Monarch Butterflies: Meet the Scientists

Meet scientists Isabel Ramírez and Karen Oberhauser, who you heard featured in our first Monarch Butterflies podcast:

Isabel Ramírez and a colleague in the field.

Karen Oberhauser working with students

Where do you work?

Isabel: I work at the Centro de Investigaciones en Geografía Ambiental, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Karen: I work at the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota.

What do you study?

Isabel: I work on landscape ecology topics applied to conservation and natural resources management of the monarch butterfly habitat in Mexico.

Karen: I study several aspects of monarch butterfly ecology and conservation: how climate change might affect monarchs, what eats them, how many times they mate in their short lifetimes, how many eggs they lay, and what habitats are important to them.

What are three titles you would give yourself?

Isabel: Geographer, environmentalist, committed with the welfare of local communities.

Karen: Biologist, Lepidopterist, Teacher.

What do you like to do when you are not working?

Isabel: I juggle to, at the same time, attend to my family (I have two children), do some exercise, enjoy time with my friends, watch movies and read historical novels.

Karen: I like to hang out in prairies and woods with my family, friends, and dog; do yoga; and read murder mysteries.

What do you like most about science?

Isabel: I really like this planet, its nature and its people. So, doing this work, I think I can contribute a little bit to a better world: to help create a balance between nature and society and justice among all people.

Karen: I get to work with incredibly interesting and brilliant people in amazing settings, and love knowing that my work is leading to an understanding of how we can conserve a little corner of the planet's biodiversity.


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