Elena Tartaglia, Ph.D.
Research Associate, Aronson Lab for the Urban Ecological Studies
B.S. – Drew University
Ph.D. – Rutgers University
I am a research ecologist with the Aronson Lab. I earned my Ph.D. from Rutgers examining Sphingidae-plant interactions in urban environments, then worked as a professor for ten years before heading back to RU to begin a research career.
I am broadly interested in how urban ecosystems filter ecological interactions. My research focuses on plant-Lepidoptera interactions in urban areas, particularly how non-native species affect insect populations. Lepidoptera are essential for sustaining breeding bird populations, and are essential to pollination and decomposition. These organisms highly sensitive to environmental stressors. Understanding how their populations are changing over time and with increasing urbanization is a critical conservation concern.
Community Science & Outreach
I run a global-scale community science project, National Moth Week, focused on highlighting the importance of moths in ecosystems. National Moth Week hosts events in dozens of countries annually. I do community outreach focused on how we can do our part to mitigate threats to Lepidoptera populations, starting with our own backyards. I am available for programs!