Queen's University

Queen's neuroscientist unlocks secret to miraculous monarch migration

 
2009-05-07

The first monarch butterflies have crossed into Canada on their 3,500 km spring migration. Queen's neuroscientist and psychologist, Barrie Frost has unlocked one of the secrets behind this amazing migration.

The first monarch butterflies have crossed into Canada on their 3,500 km spring migration. Queen's neuroscientist and psychologist, Barrie Frost has unlocked one of the secrets behind this amazing migration. 

Using an insect flight simulator, novel Queen's University research shows how monarchs use the sun as a compass, wisely compensating for time changes as they go.

In addition, preliminary data show that monarchs use the smell of volatile substances they have deposited in previous years to find their traditional over-wintering sites on their fall trip back to Mexico.

Dr. Frost is available to discuss the wonders of this spring phenomenon.  He can also discuss how animals in general, and birds in particular, find their way over the very long distances they travel on their migration routes.

He will share his insights on the migration phenomenon with participants at Queen's University's MiniU next month. From robots to rock'n'roll, astronomy to zoology MiniU offers more than 60 fun learning opportunities.

MiniU takes place Friday May 22 to Sunday May 24 at various locations across Queen's University campus.

Get more information or register for MiniU

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