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Faculty & Research

Contact Info:
Department of Biology
Tufts University
Robinson Hall, Room 352
200 College Ave
Medford, MA 02155

Tel: 617-627-1337
Fax: 617-627-3805
Email Dr. Warchola

Norah Warchola
Ecology and Ecological Physiology


2013 - 2015 Postdoctoral fellow, Tufts University
2010 - 2013 Postdoctoral fellow, Harvard Forest, Harvard University
2003 - 2010 Ph.D., Ecology and Evolution, Stony Brook University
1999 - 2003 B.S., Stony Brook University

Research Interests

I am interested in ecology, evolution, population biology, how organisms move through landscapes, and how we can combine these fields to conserve at-risk species.

My graduate work focused on the movement of butterflies in fragmented landscapes. I worked with fruit-feeding nymphalid butterflies and studied how they identified habitat vegetation, how they reacted to habitat edges and how they moved through non-habitat vegetation. These processes have important implications when species are existing in fragmented habitat patches that may be imbedded in inhospitable landscapes.
During my postdoctoral training, I worked with a variety of at-risk butterflies. I studied how habitat management, in the form of prescribed fire, affected populations of the endangered Fender's blue butterfly lcaricia icarioides fenderi in Oregon's Willamette Valley. I found that while fire initially negatively impacted populations, it had positive effects on population growth that began one season post-fire and persisted for several years. I also monitored populations of the state listed frosted elfin Callophrys irus in Massachusetts and studied the movement behavior of Bartram's scrub-hairstreak Strymon acis bartrami in southern Florida. I am currently beginning a project on the way Monarch population dynamics are affected by their shifting phenology and that of their host plants, nectar plants and the parasite OE.


Warchola, N., Bastianelli, B., Schultz, C.B. and Crone, E.E. (2015) Fire increases ant-tending and survival of the Fender's blue butterfly larvae. Journal of Insect Conservation 19:6, pp 1063–1073. doi:10.1007/s10841-015-9822-1

Warchola, N., Crone, E. E. and Schultz, C. B. (2017), Balancing ecological costs and benefits of fire for population viability of disturbance-dependent butterflies. Journal of Applied Ecology. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12983


Bio 14: Ecological Physiology
Bio 142: Population and Community Ecology

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