The IUCN SSC Butterfly Specialist Group comprises more than 100 scientists worldwide. The IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) is a science-based network of more than 9,000 volunteer experts from almost every country of the world, all working together towards achieving the vision of “A just world that values and conserves nature through positive action to reduce the loss of diversity of life on earth.”
The IUCN first formed a butterfly group (then called the Lepidoptera Specialist Group) in 1976, with Robert Michael Pyle, founder of the Xerces Society, as its chair. The Specialist Group continued its work under the guidance of Tim New.
Click on a member’s name to read their biography.
Scott is the executive director of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. He has extensive experience in endangered species conservation, pollinator conservation, and sustainable agricultural and range and forest management issues. He has authored over 200 scientific and popular publications, co-authored two books and contributed chapters to several others, and his work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, books, and on radio and television. He holds a Master of Science degree in ecology and a Bachelor of Science in horticulture, both through the College of Agricultural Sciences at Colorado State University.
He also serves as Chair of the Migratory Dragonfly Partnership, Vice Chair of the Monarch Joint Venture, and as Deputy Chair of the IUCN Invertebrate Conservation Subcommittee.
Dr. Monika Böhm is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the Zoological Society of London’s Institute of Zoology. She currently works on the Sampled Red List Index, which is derived from the IUCN Red List Index and helps to assess global patterns in extinction risk and threats to biodiversity. Monika’s previous work focused on wildlife management in the UK, with an emphasis on wildlife disease.
Dr. B.A. Daniel
Dr. B. A. Daniel is an entomologist, working as a senior scientist at Zoo Outreach Organization (ZOO), Coimbatore, India. He is the Co-chair of the South Asian Invertebrate Specialist Group (SAsISG) IUCN SSC and runs a large and successful network of invertebrate experts in South Asia. He conducts research on a variety of invertebrates, always with a practical and conservation purpose. He has been involved in the assessment of butterflies of South Asia. He is ZOO’s education coordinator and heavily contributed to its projects by developing educational materials and programs.
Jaret Daniels, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Entomology at the University of Florida and the Director of the Florida Museum of Natural History’s McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity. Jaret received his B.S. in Biology from Saint John’s University in Minnesota and Ph.D. from the Department of Entomology and Nematology at the University of Florida. An insect ecologist by training, his research focuses on at-risk butterfly recovery and native insect pollinator conservation. He also works on a number of nationwide initiatives related to advancing insect conservation including professional training, educational material development, and strategic planning. Jaret has authored more than 50 scientific papers, popular articles, and books dealing with butterflies, conservation, integrated pest management, and butterfly gardening.
Born at Ormskirk, Lancashire, UK on 22nd August 1943, Dave currently resides at Brenton-on-Sea, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa. He graduated from Cambridge University in 1965 as a mechanical engineer, and pursued a career in the mining industry. He went on to obtain a PhD in Environmental Sciences in 2005 from North-West University, South Africa for research into the ecology and conservation of the Brenton Blue butterfly.
Currently the editor of the Lepidopterists’ Society of Africa’s Metamorphosis scientific journal, and leader of the Society’s COREL (Conservation of Rare and Endangered Lepidoptera) programme. He is published as author or co-author over 25 scientific research articles, mostly on butterfly ecology and conservation.
Dr. Martin Warren has studied butterfly ecology and conservation for over 30 years, including a PhD on the Wood White at Cambridge University. He joined Butterfly Conservation in 1993 as the first conservation member of staff and was appointed as Chief Executive in February 2003. In 2004 he helped found Butterfly Conservation Europe and was appointed as the first chairman.
He has published over 300 scientific papers and reports and is co-author of several books. BBC Wildlife Magazine has voted him one of Britain’s top 10 conservationists.
Robert Michael Pyle Pyle has been an independent, full-time biologist, writer, teacher, and speaker for 32 years. He received a B.Sc. in Nature Perception and Protection and M.Sc. in Nature Interpretation from the University of Washington, followed by a Ph.D. in Lepidoptera Ecology and Conservation from Yale University. He worked as Ranger-Naturalist in Sequoia National Park, butterfly conservation consultant for the government of Papua New Guinea, Northwest Land Steward for The Nature Conservancy, and co-manager of the Species Conservation Monitoring Center in Cambridge, U.K. In 1971, he founded the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, later chaired its Monarch Project, and was the founding chairman of IUCN’s Lepidoptera Specialist Group.
Photo by Eddie Rivers.
Blanca Huertas was born in Bogotá, Colombia and currently works as Senior Curator of the Lepidoptera collection at the Natural History Museum, London. She has been involved in conservation projects since 1998 and is currently working on the IUCN-led effort to produce threatened species assessments of butterflies as advisor for the Neotropics as well other initiatives. Her PhD focused on conservation priorities in Neotropical Butterflies in University College London (UCL). She also received an MSc in Advanced Methods on Biodiversity and Systematics from Imperial College London and is a Specialist in Environmental Management and Education. She is working actively in Systematics and Taxonomy as well multi-taxa conservation projects including bird-related projects.
Yasahiro Nakamura is the executive director of Japan Butterfly Conservation Society (JBCS), which he founded in 2004. JCBS conducts many conservation projects for threatened butterflies, focusing especially on Melitaea scotosia, Celastrina ogasawaraensis, and Pithecops fulgens.
Paige Howorth leads the Entomology Department and invertebrate conservation programs at San Diego Zoo Global. Her responsibilities include strategic planning, stewardship and management of the invertebrate animal collection, facilities and staff. She’s also published numerous blogs, articles and papers on invertebrate husbandry and conservation and is no stranger to the challenges of bringing the concepts together for species recovery. Paige currently directs two endangered insect rearing programs at the San Diego Zoo, the quino checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha quino) and the Lord Howe Island stick insect (Dryococelus australis).
Paige is an elected steering committee member for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Terrestrial Invertebrate Taxon Advisory Group, and in her leisure time, a metalsmith and jeweler specializing in insect and other spineless life forms.
As the Director of Conservation Science for the Nature Conservancy’s Indiana Chapter, John Shuey develops site-based conservation strategies across the state and guides the Chapter’s efforts connected with scientific research, ecoregional planning, conservation site planning, and large-scale restoration planning. He also leads the effort to develop climate change adaptation strategies for the Chapter’s preserves. John has conducted extensive fieldwork throughout the Midwest, and in northern Central America, Brazil and the Caribbean. Much of this work revolves around restoration ecology and assessing the role of restoration in biodiversity conservation, especially relative to the conservation of invertebrate communities.
Biography coming soon.
Dr. Onildo João Marini Filho coordinates the Cerrado Research and Conservation Center from the Chico Mendes Institute of Biodiversity Conservation in Brazil. Since 2001, he has been dedicated to the development and implementation of tools for the conservation and effort prioritization for threatened species, including action plans, red listings, gap analyses, species inventories, population monitoring and protected areas. He has published books and papers dedicated to threatened species and headed large-scale research and conservation projects, including the Lepidoptera Research and Conservation Network (RedeLep). He is also a member of the Butterfly International Network (BIN).
Silvia Mecenero is a zoologist by training. Her main interest is biodiversity conservation, currently finishing off postdoctoral research using geo-spatially modeled butterfly distributions from the Southern African Butterfly Conservation Assessment (SABCA). Her childhood love of butterflies led her to assist with the implementation of the SABCA project, which she managed until its completion in 2013. She was recently appointed as project manager of the follow-up project, the Southern African Lepidoptera Conservation Assessment (SALCA). In her spare time, she helps with the Caterpillar Rearing Group (Lepidopterists’™ Society of Africa), a project aimed at determining the larva-adult-host associations for all Lepidoptera in southern Africa, rearing many caterpillars herself.