Jason Dzurisin


Jason is project manager of the Notre Dame Collaboratory for Adaptation to Climate Change, an online community of researchers and practitioners grappling with how to manage natural resources in the face of climate change. Jason also runs operations in the Hellmann Lab. See Jason’s bio on the Collaboratory here, and his personal webpage here.


1998-2002 B.S., Environmental Science, University of Notre Dame

2003-2005 M. Sc., Environmental Science, Washington State University; Advisor: Cheryl B. Schultz; Thesis title: Captive Rearing and Endangered Butterfly Recovery: Captive Environments and Implications for Propagation

Sample previous projects:

MosquitoDB: Mosquitoes of the Great Lakes region and their potential responses to climate change

Amateurs and professionals collect biological observations of many species in many places, but often this information is lost or kept private for lack of a suitable data repository. A variety of database platforms are arising to enable sharing of observational data. The research opportunities from large databases of ecological observations are considerable

Mosquitoes are one group of organisms that are consistently monitored across the United States by a disparate group of organizations, but, historically, these organizations have not shared their information. This lack of sharing prevents novel research on the dynamics of disease vectors and nuisance biters of economic importance.

We constructed MosquitoDB, a database for observational data of mosquitoes built using the DarwinCore platform for biological observations. The initial focus of MosquitoDB is the Great Lakes region. To populate the database, we collated observational data from various mosquito abatement and disease control groups throughout the region.

At last count, the scope of the project included 478,608 records from 970 counties comprising more than 7 million mosquitos of 106 species.

Captive Rearing and Endangered Butterfly Recovery: Captive Environments and Implications for Propagation Programs

Reared Puget blue butterflies (Icaricia icarioides blackmorei), a subspecies closely related to the endangered Fender’s blue (I. i. fenderi) from two wild populations in Washington, USA to investigate two approaches for egg collection (collect eggs in the wild vs. collect eggs from adult females which were brought to a greenhouse for oviposition) and three diapause environments (in indoor facilities at two independent locations vs. outdoors in enclosures). Survival from egg to adult was similar across all captive groups which survived past diapause and was less than 10%. Captive reared individuals were lighter and had smaller wings and shorter body lengths than their founding populations for both sites. Based on our findings, we recommend that rearing programs compare characteristics of reared individuals to individuals from the founding population to quantify possible effects of captive conditions, diapause individuals in natural environments, and for programs with survival rates similar to rates in the wild, consider alternatives to augment declining populations and reintroduce historic ones.

Activities Conducted: field capture of wild Puget blue (Icaricia icarioides blackmorei) females ield/Greenhouse oviposition elease of females back to wild population ending of eggs/larvae on greenhouse propagated native host (Lupinus albicaulis) ending of diapausing larvae in experimental treatments (Incubator, Environmental Chamber, Outdoor). Larvae were housed in Toledo Jars designed by Karner Blue recovery team. ssessment of larvae, pupae, and adults for weight and morphology (photo-based biometry) differences.

Translocation experiments with butterflies reveal limits to enhancement of poleward populations under climate change

Performed a reciprocal translocation experiment of Propertius duskywing skipper (Erynnis propertius) and Anise swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon) both in the field and a simulated translocation experiment in growth chambers to determine if populations differ in their response to warming and if that response is mediated by host plant.

Activities Conducted: field capture of wild Erynnis propertius and Papilio zelicaon females ortable Greenhouse oviposition on field collected native host (Oak for Erynnis and Parsley for Papilio) eciprocal translocation of eggs to field sites (field trials) or growth chambers (simulated trials). ending of eggs/larvae on field/greenhouse propagated native host (Quercus garryana Erynnis, Petroselinum crispum Papilio ) ssessment of larvae, pupae, and adults for survivorship, mass and morphology (head capsule width). dditional genetic/genomic studies including microsatellite analyses for geneflow assessment and 454 sequencing and microarray design for transcriptome-level response assessment.

leading research on global change ecology and climate change adaptation

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