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Human Elements

The world of science is full of facts and figures, but behind the study are the people. In the end, it becomes a question not of how they do science — but why.

Can butterflies adapt to survive climate change?

Edmonds College professor Dr. Gwen Shlichta is studying cabbage white butterflies to find what their feeding patterns might mean for other organisms.

Can butterflies evolve to adapt to climate change? Dr. Gwen Shlichta, a biology professor at Edmonds College and researcher for a University of Washington study, is returning to her research 25 years later to answer this question.

Dr. Shlichta and her lab tech Taylor Hatcher collect and study cabbage white butterflies to monitor their feeding patterns at controlled temperatures. This data, compared to Dr. Shlichta’s data from 25 years ago, can be used to predict how other organisms may adapt to climate change in the future.

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