PhD student, Invertebrate Ecology
School of Land and Food, University of Tasmania
“All children have a bug phase; I never grew out of mine.” E.O.Wilson.
Edward Wilson discovered the way that ants communicate using pheromones; Terry Erwin discovers new species of beetles from the Amazonian Rainforest; Lisa Bird collects caterpillars eggs from crops and rears them in a laboratory; Geoff Allen uses insects in forensic cases to help solve crimes. I study the ways insects are involved with the environment; what they eat, where they live, how they affect and help humans – we are entomologists; insect scientists!
I absolutely love insects, and I always have. So much so that I get a bit confused when people ask what I like about them, ‘Doesn’t everyone love insects too?’
I love them because they are beautiful, with their shiny carapaces and bright wing patterns. I love them because they are tiny but complete, working organisms – it’s like holding a galaxy the size of a marble in your hand.
I love them because of the great diversity of shapes and colours, and because of the different ways this can be useful. Insects are involved in our everyday lives in many ways. I love learning about how useful and important insects are, the jobs that they do in the environment and the clever ways that scientists can use their strengths and abilities in useful ways.
I became passionate about scientific communication because people so often think that bugs are creepy and scary, so I feel responsible for showing how beautiful and useful they are!
Find me on Twitter: @HybopteraShasta
For further information: www.utas.edu.au/land-food