The Effort to Keep Biodiversity Out of Crisis Environmental Dedication Drives Research of Biologist Edd Barrows
Tracking arthropod and plant populations in nature preserves and on Georgetown University campuses, biology professor Edd Barrows is intimately familiar with the landscape on the Hilltop.
While sitting on a bench among the lush green plants and flowers of Heyden Memorial Garden, Barrows looks around and explains, “I have a life-long interest in biodiversity, in everything around us related to life.” He then points out a butterfly, a Dancing White, and explains that the large wooded area just next to the garden, located near the Yates Field House and Heyden Observatory, is actually Glover Archbold Park, a part of the National Park System.
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In Wisconsin, Barrows’ lab is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Air National Guard to learn how to use adaptive management for the federally endangered Karner Blue Butterfly. Adaptive management is a process that involves learning about the biology of a species and how it reacts to existing management practices. By gathering and analyzing information, practices can be modified and improved. A small butterfly with beautifully patterned blue wings, the Karner Blue has a rich biological and cultural history. It was named Lycaeides melissa samuelis by the renowned Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov, who was an amateur lepidopterist.
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This story was contributed by Research News, an online publication for Georgetown College.