Come discover the magic of Georgia fireflies! Explore firefly biology, find out how they relate to trees, and why garden management matters for fireflies. Kelly Ridenhour will present results from the Atlanta Firefly Project, shedding light on how land management like the amount of green space, levels of artificial light at night, irrigation, mowing, pesticides, leaf litter, and fertilizers impact populations of the fireflies in residential landscapes and parks. Atlanta Firefly Project is a community initiative that assists researchers in studying firefly conservation. Facilitated by the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia, it began in 2021 with more than 1,500 people signing up to participate across metro Atlanta. This talk presents what we learned from just one season of firefly monitoring and shares plans for the future of the Atlanta Firefly Project!
Bio: Kelly Ridenhour is both a licensed professional landscape architect and conservation ecologist. Having earned an undergraduate degree in landscape architecture and practiced professionally for five years before pursuing a Master in Science in Integrative Conservation and Sustainability at the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia. Kelly is the creator of the Atlanta Firefly Project, developed to collect data for her research exploring how land management affects local abundances of the big dipper firefly. Prior to the Atlanta Firefly Project Kelly worked at Trees Atlanta as the Associate Director of Design and is also an ISA-certified arborist. Kelly cares deeply about trees and fireflies as well as conservation and ecosystem service while pulling from her interdisciplinary experiences to offer unique perspectives with the goal to benefit both people and nature.