Professor Camille Parmesan

Professor Camille Parmesan

Prof: NMA Chair in Public Understanding of Marine Science & Human Health

School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)

Camille can be contacted through arrangement with our Press Office, to speak to the media on these areas of expertise.
  • Climate change
  • Climate change impacts
  • Climate change conservation
  • Butterfly conservation
  • Species shifts in timing and in distributions
  • Intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC)


Professor Camille Parmesan received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin in 1995. She then took a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, California. She is currently a Professor in the Marine Institute at Plymouth University (UK) where she holds the National Aquarium Chair in the Public Understanding of Oceans and Human Health. Parmesan is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geology and a Senior Research Fellow in the Environmental Science Institute at the University of Texas at Austin . Parmesan’s early research spanned multiple aspects of the behavior, ecology and evolution of insect/plant interactions in natural systems. For nearly 20 years, however, the focus of her work has been on biological impacts of anthropogenic climate change in natural systems. Her field work has focused on documenting continental-scale range shifts of butterfly species across both North America and Europe and linking these to regional climate change. Her more recent research has concentrated on global-scale syntheses and meta-analyses of biological responses to climate change across all taxonomic groups. These syntheses have documented the global nature of climate change impacts, spanning all living organisms from microbes to plants to charismatic animals in terrestrial, freshwater and marine systems. This body of research has received several awards from Thomson Reuters ISI Web of Science for producing very highly cited publications, including being ranked the second most highly cited author in the field of "Climate Change" from 1999-2009. In 2013, Parmesan was awarded the "2013 Distinguished Scientist" by the Texas Academy of Sciences, and elected a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America. She has been involved with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in varying capacities for more than 15 years (e.g. as Lead Author, Reviewer), and was an named official Contributor to IPCC receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. The intensification of global warming as an international issue led Professor Parmesan into the interface of policy and science. She has given presentations for the U.S. White House and Congressional seminar series, has been involved in several U.S. and international assessments of climate change impacts, and has provided formal testimonies at the national level (e.g. for the US House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming), as well as at the state level. She has also been active in climate change programs for many international conservation organizations, such as IUCN (the International Union for Conservation of Nature), WWF and the National Wildlife Federation, and served on the Science Council of the Nature Conservancy. Parmesan has received several awards of distinction for her work in climate change and conservation: the National Wildlife Federation’s Conservation Achievement Award in Science (2007); named as "Outstanding Woman Working on Climate Change," by IUCN (2007); and named as “Who’s Who of Women and the Environment” by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in honor of “International Women’s Day” (2007). Her work has been highlighted in hundreds of scientific and popular press articles, such as in Science News, the New York Times, the London Times, National Geographic, Scientific American, Science ét Vie, Audubon magazine, National Public Radio, Earth&Sky, the BBC film series "State of the Planet" with David Attenborough, CNN, CBS Evening News, ABC Nightline with Peter Jennings, ABC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, and ABC’s “Nature’s Edge” series with Bill Blakemore.

Key publications are highlighted

Parmesan C & Singer M 2019 'Butterflies embrace maladaptation and raise fitness in colonizing novel host' Evolutionary Applications , DOI PEARL
Parmesan C, Singer M & advani N 2019 'Takeoff temperatures in Melitaea cinxia butterflies from latitudinal and elevational range limits: a potential adaptation to solar irradiance' Ecological Entomology , DOI PEARL
Duffy PB, Field CB, Diffenbaugh NS, Doney SC, Dutton Z, Goodman S, Heinzerling L, Hsiang S, Lobell DB & Mickley LJ 2018 'Strengthened scientific support for the Endangerment Finding for atmospheric greenhouse gases' Science 363, (6427) eaat5982-eaat5982 , DOI PEARL
Parmesan C, Hanley ME & Singer MC 2018 'Model vs. experiment to predict crop losses' Science 362, (6419) 1122.1-1122 , DOI PEARL
Berkley N, Hanley M, Boden R, Owen R, Holmes J, Critchley R, Carroll K, Sawyer D & Parmesan C 2018 'Influence of bioenergy crops on pollinator activity varies with crop type and distance' GCB Bioenergy , DOI PEARL
Singer MC & Parmesan C 2018 'Lethal trap created by adaptive evolutionary response to an exotic resource' Nature 557, (7704) 238-+ Author Site , DOI PEARL
Parmesan C 2017 'Demonstrating the Applicability of Robust Decision Making (RDM) to Conservation Decision-Making Under Uncertain Future Climate: Pilot Study Using the Northern Pygmy Salamander (Desmognathus organi)' journal of conservation planning PEARL
Evans DM, Che-Castaldo JP, Crouse D, Davis FW, Epanchin-Niell R, Flather CH, Frohlich RK, Goble DD, Li YW & Male TD 2016 'Species recovery in the united states: Increasing the effectiveness of the endangered species act' Issues in Ecology 2016, (20) PEARL
Advani NK, Kenkel CD, Davies SW, Parmesan C, Singer MC & Matz MV 2016 'Variation in heat shock protein expression at the latitudinal range limits of a widely-distributed species, the Glanville fritillary butterfly ( Melitaea cinxia )' Physiological Entomology , DOI PEARL
Brown CJ, O'Connor MI, Poloczanska ES, Schoeman DS, Buckley LB, Burrows MT, Duarte CM, Halpern BS, Pandolfi JM & Parmesan C 2016 'Ecological and methodological drivers of species' distribution and phenology responses to climate change' GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY 22, (4) 1548-1560 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Mainali KP, Warren DL, Dhileepan K, McConnachie A, Strathie L, Hassan G, Karki D, Shrestha BB & Parmesan C 2015 'Projecting future expansion of invasive species: comparing and improving methodologies for species distribution modeling' Global Change Biology 21, (12) 4464-4480 , DOI PEARL
Parmesan C & Hanley ME 2015 'Plants and climate change: complexities and surprises' Annals of Botany 116, (6) 849-864 , DOI PEARL
Bennett NL, Severns PM, Parmesan C & Singer MC 2015 'Geographic mosaics of phenology, host preference, adult size and microhabitat choice predict butterfly resilience to climate warming' OIKOS 124, (1) 41-53 Author Site , DOI PEARL
O'Connor MI, Holding JM, Kappel CV, Duarte CM, Brander K, Brown CJ, Bruno JF, Buckley L, Burrows MT & Halpern BS 2015 'Strengthening confidence in climate change impact science' GLOBAL ECOLOGY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY 24, (1) 64-76 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Parmesan C, Williams-Anderson A, Moskwik M, Mikheyev AS & Singer MC 2014 'Endangered Quino checkerspot butterfly and climate change: Short-term success but long-term vulnerability?' Journal of Insect Conservation 19, (2) 185-204 , DOI PEARL
Parmesan C 2014 'From medicine to butterflies and back again' Temperature 1, (2) 67-70 , DOI PEARL
Burrows MT, Schoeman DS, Richardson AJ, Molinos JG, Hoffmann A, Buckley LB, Moore PJ, Brown CJ, Bruno JF & Duarte CM 2014 'Geographical limits to species-range shifts are suggested by climate velocity' Nature 507, (7493) 492-495 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Poloczanska ES, Brown CJ, Sydeman WJ, Kiessling W, Schoeman DS, Moore PJ, Brander K, Bruno JF, Buckley LB & Burrows MT 2013 'Global imprint of climate change on marine life' NATURE CLIMATE CHANGE 3, (10) 919-925 Author Site , DOI
Mikheyev AS, McBride CS, Mueller UG, Parmesan C, Smee MR, Stefanescu C, Wee B & Singer MC 2013 'Host-associated genomic differentiation in congeneric butterflies: now you see it, now you do not' Mol Ecol 22, (18) 4753-4766 Author Site , DOI
Parmesan C, Burrows MT, Duarte CM, Poloczanska ES, Richardson AJ, Schoeman DS & Singer MC 2013 'Beyond climate change attribution in conservation and ecological research' Ecol Lett 16 Suppl 1, 58-71 Author Site , DOI
Hansen J, Kharecha P, Sato M, Masson-Delmotte V, Ackerman F, Beerling DJ, Hearty PJ, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Hsu S-L & Parmesan C 2013 'Assessing “Dangerous Climate Change”: Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature' PLoS ONE 8, (12) e81648-e81648 , DOI PEARL
Richardson AJ, Brown CJ, Brander K, Bruno JF, Buckley L, Burrows MT, Duarte CM, Halpern BS, Hoegh-Guldberg O & Holding J 2012 'Climate change and marine life' Biol Lett 8, (6) 907-909 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Cook BI, Wolkovich EM, Davies TJ, Ault TR, Betancourt JL, Allen JM, Bolmgren K, Cleland EE, Crimmins TM & Kraft NJB 2012 'Sensitivity of Spring Phenology to Warming Across Temporal and Spatial Climate Gradients in Two Independent Databases' ECOSYSTEMS 15, (8) 1283-1294 Author Site , DOI
Cook BI, Wolkovich EM & Parmesan C 2012 'Divergent responses to spring and winter warming drive community level flowering trends' Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109, (23) 9000-9005 Author Site , DOI
Wolkovich EM, Cook BI, Allen JM, Crimmins TM, Betancourt JL, Travers SE, Pau S, Regetz J, Davies TJ & Kraft NJ 2012 'Warming experiments underpredict plant phenological responses to climate change' Nature 485, (7399) 494-497 Author Site , DOI
Hansen J, Kharecha P, Sato M, Ackerman F, Hearty PJ, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Hsu S-L, Krueger F, Parmesan C & Rahmstorf S 2012 'Scientific Case for Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change to Protect Young People and Nature' arXiv:1110.1365 [] (or arXiv:1110.1365v3 [] for this version) Author Site PEARL
Burrows MT, Schoeman DS, Duarte CM, O'Connor MI, Buckley LB, Kappel CV, Parmesan C, Halpern BS, Brown C & Brander KM 2012 'Invasive Species Unchecked by Climate--Response' Science 335, (6068) 538-539 , DOI
Burrows MT, Schoeman DS, Buckley LB, Moore P, Poloczanska ES, Brander KM, Brown C, Bruno JF, Duarte CM & Halpern BS 2011 'The pace of shifting climate in marine and terrestrial ecosystems' Science 334, (6056) 652-655 Author Site , DOI
Parmesan C, Duarte C, Poloczanska E, Richardson AJ & Singer MC 2011 'COMMENTARY: Overstretching attribution' NATURE CLIMATE CHANGE 1, (1) 2-4 Author Site , DOI
Parmesan C, Duarte C, Poloczanska E, Richardson AJ & Singer MC 2011 'Overstretching attribution' Nature Climate Change 1, (1) 2-4 , DOI
Singer MC & Parmesan C 2010 'Phenological asynchrony between herbivorous insects and their hosts: signal of climate change or pre-existing adaptive strategy?' Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 365, (1555) 3161-3176 Author Site , DOI
Mikheyev AS, Vo T, Wee B, Singer MC & Parmesan C 2010 'Rapid microsatellite isolation from a butterfly by de novo transcriptome sequencing: performance and a comparison with AFLP-derived distances' PLoS One 5, (6) Author Site , DOI PEARL
Hoegh-Guldberg O, Hughes L, McIntyre S, Lindenmayer DB, Parmesan C, Possingham HP & Thomas CD 2008 'Response' Science 322, (5904) 1049-1050
Hoegh-Guldberg O, Hughes L, Mcintyre S, Lindenmayer DB, Parmesan C, Possingham HP & Thomas CD 2008 'Where Species Go, Legal Protections Must Follow Response' SCIENCE 322, (5904) 1049-1050 Author Site
Hoegh-Guldberg O, Hughes L, McIntyre S, Lindenmayer DB, Parmesan C, Possingham HP & Thomas CD 2008 'Assisted colonization and rapid climate change' Science 321, (5887) 345-346 Author Site , DOI
Olivieri I, Singer MC, Magalhaes S, Courtiol A, Dubois Y, Carbonell D, Justy F, Beldade P, Parmesan C & Michalakis Y 2008 'Genetic, ecological, behavioral and geographic differentiation of populations in a thistle weevil: implications for speciation and biocontrol' EVOLUTIONARY APPLICATIONS 1, (1) 112-128 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Parmesan C 2008 'Where the wild things were' DAEDALUS 137, (2) 31-38 Author Site , DOI
Parmesan C 2007 'Influences of species, latitudes and methodologies on estimates of phenological response to global warming' GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY 13, (9) 1860-1872 Author Site , DOI
MATTHEWS JH, BOLES S, PARMESAN C & JUENGER T 2007 'Isolation and characterization of nuclear microsatellite loci for the common green darner dragonfly Anax junius (Odonata: Aeshnidae) to constrain patterns of phenotypic and spatial diversity' Molecular Ecology Notes 7, (5) 845-847 , DOI
Parmesan C 2006 'Ecological and evolutionary responses to recent climate change' ANNUAL REVIEW OF ECOLOGY EVOLUTION AND SYSTEMATICS 37, 637-669 Author Site , DOI
Parmesan C, Gaines S, Gonzalez L, Kaufman DM, Kingsolver J, Townsend Peterson A & Sagarin R 2005 'Empirical perspectives on species borders: from traditional biogeography to global change' OIKOS 108, (1) 58-75 Author Site , DOI
Parmesan C & Yohe G 2003 'A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems' Nature 421, (6918) 37-42 Author Site , DOI
Walther G-R, Post E, Convey P, Menzel A, Parmesan C, Beebee TJC, Fromentin J-M, Hoegh-Guldberg O & Bairlein F 2002 'Ecological responses to recent climate change' Nature 416, (6879) 389-395 Author Site , DOI
Easterling DR, Meehl GA, Parmesan C, Changnon SA, Karl TR & Mearns LO 2000 'Climate extremes: observations, modeling, and impacts' Science 289, (5487) 2068-2074 Author Site , DOI
Parmesan C 2000 'Unexpected density-dependent effects of herbivory in a wild population of the annual Collinsia torreyi' JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY 88, (3) 392-400 Author Site , DOI
Meehl GA, Karl T, Easterling DR, Changnon S, Pielke R, Changnon D, Evans J, Groisman PY, Knutson TR & Kunkel KE 2000 'An Introduction to Trends in Extreme Weather and Climate Events: Observations, Socioeconomic Impacts, Terrestrial Ecological Impacts, and Model Projections*' Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 81, (3) 413-416 , DOI
Parmesan C, Root TL & Willig MR 2000 'Impacts of Extreme Weather and Climate on Terrestrial Biota*' Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 81, (3) 443-450 , DOI
Parmesan C 1999 'Metapopulation ecology' NATURE 399, (6738) 747-747 Author Site
Parmesan C, Ryrholm N, Stefanescu C, Hill JK, Thomas CD, Descimon H, Huntley B, Kaila L, Kullberg J & Tammaru T 1999 'Poleward shifts in geographical ranges of butterfly species associated with regional warming' NATURE 399, (6736) 579-583 Author Site , DOI
Parmesan C 1996 'Climate and species' range' NATURE 382, (6594) 765-766 Author Site , DOI
PARMESAN C, SINGER MC & HARRIS IAN 1995 'Absence of adaptive learning from the oviposition foraging behaviour of a checkerspot butterfly' Animal Behaviour 50, (1) 161-175 , DOI
Singer MC, Thomas CD, Billington HL & Parmesan C 1994 'Correlates of speed of evolution of host preference in a set of twelve populations of the butterflyEuphydryas editha' Écoscience 1, (2) 107-114 , DOI
Singer MC, Thomas CD & Parmesan C 1993 'Rapid human-induced evolution of insect–host associations' Nature 366, (6456) 681-683 , DOI
Singer MC & Parmesan C 1993 'Sources of variations in patterns of plant–insect association' Nature 361, (6409) 251-253 , DOI
Thomas CD, Ng D, Singer MC, Mallet JLB, Parmesan C & Billington HL 1987 'INCORPORATION OF A EUROPEAN WEED INTO THE DIET OF A NORTH AMERICAN HERBIVORE' Evolution 41, (4) 892-901 , DOI
2012 Climate and Conservation. Island Press/Center for Resource Economics , DOI
Parmesan C 2019 'Range and abundance changes' Biodiversity and Climate Change: Transforming the Biosphere 25-38
Conference Papers
Parmesan C 2001 'Detection of range shifts: General methodological issues and case studies of butterflies' 57-76