6ABC: Light pollution can interfere with monarch migration

UC's butterfly research attracts national media attention

ABC6 in Philadelphia highlighted biology research at the University of Cincinnati that found light pollution can affect the uncanny navigational ability of monarch butterflies.

UC College of Arts and Sciences assistant professor Patrick Guerra, former UC postdoctoral researcher Adam Parlin, now at SUNY-ESF, and UC graduate Samuel Stratton conducted experiments that showed how nighttime light pollution can throw off the butterfly's internal compass. Prolonged exposure to artificial light at night makes the butterflies think it's earlier or later in the day, which interferes with their ability to navigate accurately using the sun.

The study was published in the journal iScience.

Parlin, the study's lead author, said nighttime light pollution can affect people and wildlife in surprising ways.

“Nighttime light pollution has been on the radar for some time, but it is a big environmental problem,” he said.

For its Big Talkers segment, 6ABC in Philadelphia shared UC's research. Monarchs migrate by the thousands through Pennsylvania and New Jersey during their fall migration to Mexico.

“It's an incredible sight, for those who have seen it, as these little insects that weigh less than a paperclip navigate the wind and the (Delaware Bay) to travel 100 miles per day using just their internal GPS,” ABC6 reported.

Featured image at top: A monarch butterfly. Photo/Michael Miller

UC biology research in the news

Patrick Guerra holds up a mesh box containing monarch butterflies.

UC assistant professor Patrick Guerra is unraveling the mystery of the monarch butterfly's multi-generational migration in his lab. Photo/Lisa Ventre/UC Creative + Brand

Related Stories

1

WCPO: Talks of CPD gun range getting relocated brings back...

February 6, 2023

Concerns in the community continue due to the noise of gunshots coming from a Cincinnati Police Department gun range in Evendale. Brian Earl, PhD, in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in the UC College of Allied Health Sciences conducted audiology tests in 2020 to measure the impact of the noise and was interviewed by WCPO-TV.

2

UC undergrad finds community, discovers his career path

February 6, 2023

Fourth year journalism student Zach Jarrell began his college career at the University of Cincinnati as a statistics major. Despite having an interest in studying journalism, Jarrell had his doubts. He was unsure about the practicality of that degree, and his ability to pay off his future student loans through it. Following his passion, Jarrell switched his major to journalism in UC’s College of Arts and Sciences, and has never looked back.

3

55KRC: UC experts discuss cervical cancer

February 6, 2023

The University of Cincinnati Cancer Center’s Teresa Meier and Sarah Sittenfeld joined 55KRC's Simply Medicine to discuss cervical cancer, including risk factors and the importance of screenings.

Debug Query for this