Dr. Ron Butler, Ecologist, University of Maine, Farmington
Wednesday, May 10, 2017, 7:00pm
Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick
Join Friends of Merrymeeting Bay’s (FOMB) for the final presentation of their 20th annual Winter Speaker Series; Dragonflies & Damselflies in Maine, featuring ecologist Dr. Ron Butler from U. Maine, Farmington. The event takes place at Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick, Wednesday, May 10th at 7pm.
Dragonflies and damselflies play key roles in both terrestrial and aquatic habitats. They are predators as both nymphs and adults, feeding on a variety of prey including nuisance species such as mosquitoes and biting flies. Nymphs can be top predators in fishless wetlands and help structure the wetland community. Dragonfly and damselfly nymphs in turn are an essential food resource for fish and amphibians, and adults are eaten by upland predators such as birds, bats, lizards, and spiders. They can be indicators of different biotypes and habitats, and have been used as tools to assess the biological health of aquatic habitats and to detect levels of heavy metals such as mercury. They are also considered model organisms to assess the effects of global climate change.
Ron Butler is a professor of ecology and a biologist with research interests in behavioral ecology, community ecology, and conservation biology. During the past 40 years, he has worked in Antarctica, Newfoundland, and Maine on a variety of projects concerning the ecology and conservation of seabirds, dragonflies, butterflies, and bees. Because of his interest in ecologically important insect groups, Butler presently helps coordinate three state-wide citizen scientist initiatives: The Maine Damselfly and Dragonfly Survey, The Maine Butterfly Survey, and (most recently) The Maine Bumble Bee Atlas. His undergraduate research students work with him each summer in Maine on dragonfly, butterfly, and bee ecology, and a number of these students have gone on to graduate programs in ecology or entomology, as well as medical school and other health care programs. In addition to teaching courses in Zoology, Ecology, Entomology, Ornithology, and Conservation Biology, Ron also co-teaches Tropical Island Ecology each May-term in the US Virgin Islands. He has a PhD in Ecology/Zoology, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Syracuse University
FOMB hosts their Winter Speaker Series October-May, the second Wednesday of each month. Speaker Series presentations are free, open to the public and supported by Patagonia, Inc. in Freeport. In the summer, FOMB offers a schedule of varied outings. Visit www.fomb.org to see speaker biographies, full event schedules, become a member, and learn more about how you can help protect beautiful Merrymeeting Bay.