Welcome to Chasing Checkerspots! I’m Elizabeth Long, a biologist with a particular interest in adaptive evolution, mimicry in butterflies, and ecological and evolutionary genetics. In 2015 I moved to the area around the Shawangunk Ridge in New York state, where I work as Director of Conservation Science for the Mohonk Preserve.
I worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the LA Natural History Museum and the UCLA La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science in 2014 and 2015. Much of my time there was spent surveying butterfly communities in the Santa Monica Mountains and also in urban LA via the museum’s BioSCAN project. In my studies I used a combination of field work, genetics/genomics techniques, and experimental approaches.
In 2013 I earned my PhD in Ecology from the University of California Davis, where I worked with Dr. Art Shapiro (Dept. of Evolution and Ecology , Center for Population Biology) studying the evolution, ecology, and genetics of mimicry in western US checkerspot butterflies. Prior to that I earned my MS in Biology from the College of William and Mary studying the breeding ecology of Peregrine Falcons under the supervision of Dr. Bryan Watts at the Center for Conservation Biology. Way, way before that I got my Bachelor’s degree in Biology at the University of Richmond.
I spend a large chunk of time outdoors- chasing butterflies, of course, but also riding my bike, running with the dog, or escaping the heat by hiking in the mountains. When I’m indoors I’m often found knitting (complete with cat on lap), reading, or playing on eButterfly.