Alana Wilcox

NSERC PhD student (Jan 2017 – present)

Agricultural treatments are essential to food production, but many chemicals can have downstream effects on wildlife and the surrounding ecosystem. Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticide with known developmental, reproductive, and behavioural effects on pollinators like honeybees, but the effects on other species at risk is limited. Monarch butterflies make long distance migrations between Southern Ontario and Mexico, potentially exposing themselves to these chemicals along their migratory path. To examine the influence of the neonicotinoid clothianidin on monarch butterflies I will be using a combination of laboratory and field experiments that assess how early developmental exposure to different concentrations of the insecticide affects migration, behaviours such as mate-searching, reproductive output, and development.