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Town Hall Seattle: Science Series

Town Hall’s Science series is dedicated to understanding the world around us. Whether we’re hearing from a legendary physicist or a UW graduate student, the Science series explores math, biology, chemistry, the environment, and so much more.

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May 11, 2017

This is the story of a migrating butterfly, a poisonous plant, and their remarkable process of coevolution. Monarch butterflies are one of nature’s most recognizable creatures, known for their bright colors and epic annual migration from the United States and Canada to Mexico. Yet there is much more to the monarch than its distinctive presence and mythic journeying. In Monarchs and Milkweed, Cornell professor Anurag Agrawal presents a vivid investigation into how the monarch butterfly has evolved closely alongside the milkweed—a toxic plant named for the sticky white substance emitted when its leaves are damaged—and how this inextricable relationship has affected these two fascinating species. Agrawal delves into major scientific discoveries, including his own research, and presents current ideas regarding the recent decline in monarch populations. He evaluates the current sustainability of monarchs and reveals his own explanation for their plummeting numbers.

Recorded live at Town Hall Seattle Wednesday, May 3, 2017