Ecologist to explore Athens' importance for butterflies - March Monthly Meeting

University of Georgia ecologist will describe rare butterflies and moths that inhabit Athens and will discuss why this is a special place for them to thrive at the Oconee Rivers Audubon Society’s next meeting, set for 7 p.m. Thursday, March 3, at Sandy Creek Nature Center.

Dr. James W. Porter, Meigs Professor of Ecology and Curator of Invertebrates at the Georgia Museum of Natural History, will give a presentation on “The Flap of a Butterfly’s Wing:  The Extraordinary and Essential Butterflies and Moths of Athens-Clarke County.”

Porter will display specimens from his collection of more than 1,000 butterflies and moths from Athens. In addition, he will share his knowledge about the conservation challenges facing these important pollinators in Athens and throughout Georgia.  This is a rare opportunity to see these amazing local butterflies and moths, and to hear this award-winning speaker talk about natural areas and vital species within our county.

In addition to being an authority on the butterflies and moths of Athens, Porter is involved in researching the successional dynamics of marine seabed ecosystem and life among the reefs off the Georgia coast and in Florida. His research interests include theoretical ecology, predator-prey dynamics and marine ecosystems.

The meeting will be held in the Nature Center’s Education and Visitor Center, 205 Old Commerce Road off U.S. Highway 441 north of Athens. To reach the center from the Loop 10 bypass, exit at U.S. Highway 441/Commerce Road and turn north toward Commerce. Go approximately a mile, turn left at the Sandy Creek Nature Center sign and go to the end of the road. Turn left at Old Commerce Road; parking for the Education and Visitor Center will be on the right. 

For more information, visit, or contact Audubon chapter President Brian Cooke at or Publicity Chair Roger Nielsen at