Elise Larsen (she/her/they)

Role: Research Assistant Professor
Status: Current
Current Affiliation: Georgetown University
Current Email: eal109@georgetown.edu
Start year: 2013
Ecology, population dynamics, phenology, disturbance. I focus on how species traits mediate timing and abundance patterns. I'm broadly interested in animal responses to environmental change at the population level and how those responses vary in relation to individual and population traits. I've worked primarily with birds and butterflies. I work mostly with community science platforms reporting surveys (Pollardbase, Discover Life) and opportunistic observations (iNaturalist, eButterfly).



Abarca, M., Parker, A.L., Larsen, E.A., Umbanhowar, J., Earl, C., Guralnick, R.P., Kingsolver, J., and Ries, L. (2024) How development and survival combine to determine the thermal sensitivity of insects. PLoS ONE 19(1): e0291393. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0291393


Di Cecco, G.J., M.W. Belitz, R.J. Cooper, E.A. Larsen*, W.B. Lewis, L. Ries, R.P. Guralnick, and A.H. Hurlbert. (2023) Phenology in adult and larval Lepidoptera from structured and unstructured surveys across eastern North America. Frontiers in Biogeography 15(1).

Kawahara, A. Y., Storer, C., Carvalho, A. P. S., Plotkin, D. M., Condamine, F. L., Braga, M. P., ... Larsen, E.A., .... Shirey, V., ... Ries, L., ... & Lohman, D. J. (2023). A global phylogeny of butterflies reveals their evolutionary history, ancestral hosts and biogeographic origins. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 1-11.

Belitz, M. W., Larsen, E. A., Shirey, V., Li, D., & Guralnick, R. P. (2023). Phenological research based on natural history collections: Practical guidelines and a lepidopteran case study. Functional Ecology, 37(2), 234-247.


M. Belitz, E. Larsen,V. Shirey, D. Li, and R. Guralnick. 2022. ”Phenological research based on natural history collections: practical guidelines and a Lepidopteran case study.” In Review.

Larsen, E. A., Belitz, M. W., Guralnick, R. P., & Ries, L. 2022. Consistent Trait-Temperature Interactions Drive Butterfly Phenology in Both Incidental and Survey Data. Scientific Reports, 12(1), 1-10.

Vaughn Shirey, Elise Larsen, Andra Doherty, Clifford A. Kim, Faisal T. Al-Sulaiman, Jomar D. Hinolan, Micael Gabriel A. Itliong, Mark Arcebal K. Naive, Minji Ku, Michael Belitz, Grace Jeschke, Vijay Barve, Gerardo Lamas, Akito Y. Kawahara, Robert Guralnick, Naomi E. Pierce, David J. Lohman, Leslie Ries. (2022) Lep Traits 1.0: Butterfly Traits 1.0: A globally comprehensive dataset of butterfly traits. Scientific Data 9:382


Larsen, E., Shirey, V. In Press. Method matters: pitfalls in analyzing phenology from occurrence records. Ecology Letters

Belitz, M. W., Barve, V., Doby, J. R., Hantak, M. M., Larsen, E. A., Li, D., ... & Stucky, B. J. (2021). Climate drivers of adult insect activity are conditioned by life history traits. Ecology Letters, 24(12), 2687-2699.

Larsen, E.A., V. Shirey. 2021. Method matters: pitfalls in analysing phenology from occurrence records. Ecology Letters 24:1287-1289


Belitz, M.W., E.A.Larsen*, L.Ries and R.P. Guralnick. 2020. The accuracy of phenology estimators for use with sparsely sampled presence-only observations. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 11:1273–1285


Abarca, M., E.A. Larsen, and L. Ries. (2019). Heatwaves and Novel Host Consumption Increase Overwinter Mortality of an Imperiled Wetland Butterfly. Front. Ecol. Evol. 7: 193. doi: 10.3389/fevo.


Abarca, M., E. Larsen, J.T. Lill, M. Weiss, E. Lind, L. Ries. 2018. Inclusion of host quality data improves predictions of herbivore phenology. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 166 (8), 648-660


Thorson, J.T., J.N. Ianelli, E.A. Larsen, L. Ries, M.D. Scheuerell, C. Szuwalski, and E.F. Zipkin. 2016. Joint dynamic species distribution models: a tool for community ordination and spatio‐temporal monitoring. Global Ecology and Biogeography.