I am interested in how breeding monarch butterflies choose their habitat based on floral species richness and abundance. Few studies have been conducted on optimal foraging theory when it involves an organism searching for two different kinds of resources, and butterflies are an ideal study system to investigate this, since many species are ovipositing specialists and only lay eggs on one species of hostplant, but are feeding generalists and nectar from a broad variety of flowering forbs. Monarchs only lay eggs on milkweed species (Asclepias spp.) and a few relatives, but feed on many native prairie forbs, exotic forbs, and horticultural garden flowers.
I am also interested in what surrounding landscape factors influence monarch habitat selection, especially with the recent decline of milkweed in Midwestern farmland due to spraying with Roundup and planting of Roundup-Ready crops.