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University of Nevada, Reno

Doctoral Candidate – Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology

Advisor: Matthew L. Forister

2018 – Present

University of California, Irvine

Bachelor of Science – Earth System Science

Bachelor of Science – Ecology and Evolution

2011 – 2015

Grants, Scholarships, and awards

Graduate Student Award ($500)


USDA AFRI NIFA Predoctoral Fellowship ($117,700)                                                               


Winner, Student Competition for the President’s Prize ($75)


GCA Centennial Pollinator Fellowship ($2,500)                              


Hitchcock Fellowship ($13,300)

Jerry and Betty Wilson Scholarship ($4,000)



Joan Mosenthal DeWind Award ($5,000)


Ron Leuschner Memorial Fund for Research on the Lepidoptera ($500)


Ben & Beatrice Edwards Biology Scholarship ($1,200)

2020 – 2021

Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarship ($500)


Graduate Research Fellowship Program (Honorable Mention)



Forister, M. L., Grames, E. M., Halsch, C. A., Burls, K. J., Carroll, C. F., Bell, K. L., Jahner, J. P., Bradford, T., Zhang, J., Cong, Q., Grishin, N. V., Glassberg, J., Shapiro, A. M., and Riecke, T. V. (in review) Assessing risk for butterflies in the context of climate change, demographic uncertainty, and heterogenous data sources.

Halsch, C. A., Hoyle, S. M., Code, A., Fordyce, J. A., Forister, M. L. (in review). Lethal and sub-lethal concentrations of pesticides detected in milkweeds purchased from nurseries across the United States.

Forister, M.L., Halsch, C.A., Nice, C.C., Fordyce, J.A., Dilts, T.E., Oliver, J.C., Prudic, K.L., Shapiro, A.M., Wilson, J.K., and Glassberg, J. (2021) Fewer butterflies seen by community scientists across the warming and drying landscapes of the American West. Science 371: 1042-1045 PDF

Halsch, C.A., Shapiro, A.M., Fordyce, J.A., Nice, C.C., Thorne, J.H., Waetjen, D.P., and Forister, M.L. (2021) Insects and recent climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118: e2002543117 PDF

Halsch, C.A., Code, A., Hoyle, S.M., Fordyce, J.A., Baert, N., and Forister, M.L. (2020)  Pesticide contamination of milkweeds across the agricultural, urban and open spaces of low elevation Northern California. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 8 PDF

Halsch, C.A., Shapiro, A.M., Thorne, J.H., Waetjen, D.P., and Forister, M.L. (2020) A winner in the Anthropocene: changing host plant distribution explains geographic range expansion in the gulf fritillary butterfly. Ecological Entomology 45:652-662 PDF

Kimball, S., Long, J.J., Ludovise, S., Ta, P., Schmidt, K.T., Halsch, C.A., et al. (2019). Impacts of competition and herbivory on native plants in a community‐engaged, adaptively managed restoration experiment. Conservation Science and Practice 1:e122 PDF

Tamura, N., Lulow, M.E., Halsch, C.A., Major, M.R., Balazs, K.R., Austin, P., et al. (2017). Effectiveness of seed sowing techniques for sloped restoration sites. Restoration Ecology 25:942-952 PDF


BIOL 750 – Research Design

Developed lessons and led labs that introduced graduate students to R coding and statistical analysis for ecological data.

Spring 2020, Spring 2021

EECB 751 – Philosophy of Science

Designed and implemented graduate course on the philosophy of science, with a focus on topics related to ecology, evolution, and conservation biology.

Fall 2020

BIOL 437 – Entomology

Organized and led labs on insect identification and taxonomy.

Spring 2019

Crystal Cove Conservancy, Newport Beach, CA

Designed and implemented citizen science education programs for K-12 students in partnership with California State Parks and University of California Irvine researchers.

Spring 2016 – Spring 2018

Volunteering and Public Outreach

Co-President – Nerd Nite, Reno, Community Engagement and Lecture Series

President – Plant-Animal Interactions Club

Board member – Nevada Bugs and Butterflies





Halsch, C.A., Shapiro, A.M., Parra, A.S., Rodman, K.C., Thorne, J.H., Forister, M.L. 2022.Separating the direct and indirect effects of climate change on butterflies in the Sierra Nevada, CA using remote sensing data. Entomological Society of America Pacific Branch Annual Meeting, Santa Rosa, CA. Invited symposium presentation.

Halsch, C.A., Shapiro, A.M., Parra, A.S., Thorne, J.H., Forister, M.L. 2021.Climate change and butterflies: Can we use long-term data to separate direct effects on individuals from plant-mediated indirect effects? Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, CO. Oral presentation.

Forister, M.L., Bell, K.L., Carroll, C., Grames, E.M., Halsch, C.A., Riecke, T.V. 2021. Setting conservation priorities for insects in the context of diverse and interacting stressors. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, CO. Oral presentation.

Halsch, C.A., Shapiro, A.M., Forister, M.L. 2020. Understanding global change and butterflies with western North America’s longest-running monitoring study. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting (virtual). Invited symposium presentation.

Halsch, C.A., Shapiro, A.M., Forister, M.L. 2019. The Spatial and Temporal Story of the Expanding Gulf Fritillary Butterfly. The Lepidopterist’s Society Annual Meeting, Davis, CA. Oral presentation.

Halsch, C.A., Shapiro, A.M., Forister, M.L. 2019.  An Expanding Fritness Landscape: Minimum Temperatures, Host Plant Distribution, and the Expansion of the Gulf Fritillary. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO. Poster Presentation.

Journal Reviews

Ecology, Ecological Applications, Journal of Biogeography, Journal of Insect Conservation, Ecological Entomology, Global Change Biology, Annals of the Entomological Society of America, Landscape Ecology