2017 Conference Speakers


Edith Smith

Roberta Vigil

As a child, I was fascinated by these flights of fancy collecting butterflies behind picture boxes summer after summer. I let college, then a career interrupt my childhood passion, but one day I stopped to looked around…
Where were all the butterflies? I rarely saw them in my urban backyard. I missed them.
Thus began my transition to conservationist. I already had a degree in biology, why not use my love of nature to understand how to bring these icons of hope, rebirth and beauty to life in my own backyard. Thus began my new journey.
Yesterday I thought it a magical moment to share with my son, today I think it might be an extraordinary experience to share with children and adults alike.

Dr. Roberto Pereira

Roberto M. Pereira is an entomologist with B.S. in Agriculture from the University of São Paulo, Brazil, M.S. from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Florida. Early in his career, Roberto worked in the production on insect pathogenic fungi for control of insects in pastures. He worked with microbial control of fire ants and other urban pests at the University of Florida and The University of Tennessee, and served as the coordinator for the USDA-ARS projects “Areawide Suppression of Fire ants in Pastures” and “Deployed War-Fighter Protection” before returning to the University of Florida. Roberto now serves as a Research Scientist at Dr. Phil Koehler’s Urban Entomology Lab. He assists with research, education, and extension in several areas of urban entomology, including ants, cockroaches, termites, bed bugs, flies, mosquitoes, and other pests. Roberto has authored or coauthored more than 90 scientific publications, 21 book chapters, 10 US and international patents on pest control, and numerous non-refereed and trade journal publications. He currently serves as Managing Editor for PestPro Magazine, is a member of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology, the Entomological Society of America, the Entomological Society of Brazil, the Florida Entomological Society.

Bill Berthet

For the past 12 years I have traveled with a small cadre of butterfly photographers . Many of our images have helped provide the backbone for the Butterflies of America website, butterfly field guides, scientific articles, and used as PDF files for species lists in various countries. Since 2007 volunteered as a citizen scientist for: Florida Forestry Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, and the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity surveying for critically imperiled and imperiled butterflies, including field work for a new species of butterfly discovered in Florida, along with collecting data for the number of species in our conserved lands in N. E. Florida. Awarded first place: 2011 Association for Tropical Lepidoptera-McGuire Center Photo Contest.

David Folk

Folk’s Butterfly Farm began twelve years ago as our daughter Kristie needed a project for FFA. With the help of Rick Mikula, we began to raise Monarch butterflies. We are continually learning new lessons about raising butterflies and try to share that information with others. We have increased the number of butterflies and the number of species that we raise. We have adder educational services and exhibit services to our offerings. We have recently purchased additional land to expand our business and add large butterfly gardens to host weddings and other events.
Exhibits are a big part of our business and in the past seven years we have made many advancements with our designs to make them easier to transport, assemble, operate and tear down. Depending on the size of the event our exhibits size ranges from 10’ x 10’, 14’ x 14’, 12’ x 26’ and 15’ x 35’. Education plays a big part in our exhibits and we always offer educational stations to promote awareness of the butterfly life cycle, habitat, and conservation.
I have been a board member for the AFB and currently am honored with the office of president of the AFB.

Tracy Villareal

Tracy Villareal is on the faculty at The Univ. of Texas, Austin where he spends his days looking at microscopic plants on a really nice microscope. He is also part of Big Tree Butterflies and has been part of the working group that set up the Clean Screen Program for OE testing through the AFB.

John Wilchynski

John and Rosanna Wilchynski invite you to tour their farm Butterflyworkx. They started rearing butterflies as a result of the housing market crash in mid 2006 and have been in the butterfly industry eight years. They took Edith’s introductory coarse when they first started and became members of both the IBBA and AFB. Their entire farm has been built with the sale of butterflies and they continue to expand each year. John is an experimenter and tries many new ways to rear butterflies and grow their plants. He is currently creating a database of their plant genomes through tissue cultures. This way they can always have a "bank" to pull clean healthy stock from. Butterflyworkz has a mobile butterfly exhibit that they will also have on display - it’s a 20x20 setup with some interesting features. John and Rosanna look forward to seeing all of their friends soon and sharing what they have learned.

International Butterfly Breeders Association
11406 Whitewing
Austin TX 78753  USA

Association for Butterflies
332 North Palmetto St.
Rockport, TX 78382  USA

"IBBA" & "AFB" are 501(c)6 non-profit organizations.

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