Karen S. Oberhauser
Associate Professor, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology
Ph. D. University of Minnesota, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
Oberhauser Lab Website
Fields of Interest
Invertebrate conservation and ecology, with particular interest in monarch butterflies; Citizen Science and ecological monitoring; Promoting a citizenry with a high degree of scientific and environmental literacy.
- FW 1901 Monarch Butterfly Biology and Conservation (Freshman Seminar)
- FW 4102 Principles of Conservation Biology
- ESPM 3000 Biotechnology and the Natural Environment
- ESPM 5480 Monarchs and More: Insect Ecology for Teachers
My students and I conduct research on several aspects of monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) ecology. Our work has addressed their reproductive ecology, effects of investment in ejaculates by males on fitness and mating patterns in both sexes, a neogregarine protozoan parasite of monarchs, factors affecting the distribution and abundance of immature monarch stages, and risks posed by global climate change, insecticide use and genetically-modified crops. I have a strong interest in engaging K-12 students and teachers in inquiry-based science and promoting a citizenry with a high degree of scientific and environmental literacy. To this end, I have developed a comprehensive science education program called Monarchs in the Classroom. The program involves courses and workshops for teachers, a nationwide Citizen Science project called the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, curriculum development, and distribution of monarch eggs and larvae to classroom teachers.
- Oberhauser KS, De Anda A, Macziewski W, Anderson S. in review. Hymenopteran natural enemies of monarch pupae (Danaus plexippus): the pupal parasitoid Pteromalus puparum and predator Polistes dominula. In review, Ecological Entomology.
- Barve N, Bonilla AJ, Brandes J, Brown JC, Brunsell N, Cochran FV, Crosthwait RJ, Gentry J, Gerhart LM, Jackson T, Kern AJ, Oberhauser KS, Owens HL, Peterson AT, Reed AS, Soberón J, Sundberg AD, Williams LS. 2012. Cambio climático y condiciones letales para poblaciones invernales de la mariposa monarca (Climate change and lethal conditions for overwintering monarch butterflies). In press. Revista Mexicana de la Biodiversidad. (order of authors is alphabetical).
- Pleasants, J, KS Oberhauser. 2012. Milkweed loss in agricultural fields because of herbicide use: Effect on the monarch butterfly population. In press. Insect Conservation and Diversity.
- Oberhauser, KS. 2012. Tachinid flies and monarch butterflies: Citizen Scientists document parasitism patterns over broad spatial and temporal scales. American Entomologist 58:19-22.
- Bartel, RE, KS Oberhauser, JC De Roode, SM Altizer. 2011. Monarch migration, seasonal habitat use and parasite transmission in eastern North America. Ecology 92(2): 342-351.
- Fargione, JE, TR Cooper, DJ Flaspohler, J Hill, C Lehman, T McCoy, S McLeod, EJ Nelson, KS Oberhauser, D Tilman. 2009. Bioenergy and wildlife: Threats and opportunities for grassland conservation. Bioscience 59:767-777.
- Lindsey, E., M. Mudresh, V. Dhulipala, K. Oberhauser, S. Altizer. 2009. Crowding and disease: effects of host density on resonse to infection in a butterfly-parasite interaction. Ecological Entomology, in press.
- Solensky, M.S. and K. S. Oberhauser. 2009. Sperm precedence in monarch butterflies Danaus plexippus). Behavioural Ecology, doi: 10.1093/beheco/arp003
- Solensky, M.S. and K. S. Oberhauser. 2009. Male monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) adjust their ejaculates in response to risk and intensity of sperm competition. Animal Behaviour 77:465-472.