Leslie Ries

Visiting Scholar in Residence

Dr. Leslie Ries is an Associate Professor of Biology at Georgetown University. She is an ecologist who focuses on patterns, both landscape and biogeographic, at medium and large scales—primarily those associated with butterflies. She was an important contributor to the establishment of SESYNC, assisting the initial leadership team in identifying important themes and launching several projects. Her research explores underlying mechanisms using laboratory studies of caterpillar growth and development based on different temperature regimes. She studies these patterns across ranges using large databases—mostly originating from citizen-science-monitoring networks. Leslie’s research focuses on several facets including: Using citizen-science data to answer large-scale ecological questions, especially those related to climate and land cover Developing statistical tools to extract the most robust information from the data Designing systems to support data management, visualization, and sharing Developing “knowledge” databases that compile life history and other trait data to enrich multi-species analyses. In addition to carrying out and enabling large-scale ecological research, Leslie also works on methods to integrate big-data approaches into undergraduate education, and she is increasingly interested in informal education opportunities, as well.

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Photo of Leslie Ries
2011 - 2014
Areas of Expertise
biodiversity informatics
citizen science
global change ecology
insects and butterflies
Research Interests
biodiversity responses to global change at multiple scales