The University of Georgia Costa Rica 2014-2015 Sustainability Report UGA Costa Rica 2014 - 2015 Sustainability Report - Page 43

Discover Life Moth Research Amy Janvier At 3:30 a.m. every night, Amy Janvier surveys the campus moth boards to measure and photograph all moths present to better help understand species in the area. A major research initiative of UGACR is to study the migration patterns of important indicator species. As part of the Discover Life moth research program, started by UGA Ecology professor John Pickering, one intern on campus is always devoted entirely to moth research. In order to survey the types and numbers of moths present on campus, two boards are located at different sites. Before dusk each night, recent moth interns Trevor Czerniawski (2014), Will Booker (2014–2015) and Amy Janvier (2015) turned on high powered lights above the moth boards to mimic lunar light. Then, at 3:30 in the morning, they returned to the boards and surveyed the moths present, measuring and taking a picture of each individual moth. Later that day, these moths were identified and pictures were uploaded onto the Discover Life website. Results from UGA Costa Rica are compared with sites in Canada, Puerto Rico, and the United States. So far on campus, over 3,000 different species of moth have been identified. On any given night, up to 300 pictures of moths can be taken. In carrying out this study, the campus aims to acheive a better understanding of the sheer diversity of moth species in the area, as well as their migration patterns. The relationship between moths and temperature, lunar cycles, and proximity to certain habitats are specifically analyzed. This study will help reveal important information regarding the drivers of change in the relative abundance of moth species across time and space, in addition to determining the impacts of different seasons on over 3,000 different species of moths have been identified So far on campus. moth populations. Evidence collected during this long-term research project has already indicated a shift in migration patterns, an interesting observation to see in such a short time frame. 2014 – 2015 Sustainability Report 43