In love with insects!
PhD student, Invertebrate Ecology
College of Sciences and Engineering, 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 tests then for pesticide resilience; Geoff Allen uses insects for forensics 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 each different shape and colour has a different role and use in the environment; including our environment. Insects are involved in our everyday lives in many ways. They return nutrients to the soil and they pollinate plants which account for 1/3 of our food. They can also be manipulated to help us control pest organisms, dispose of organic waste products or form the back bone of drones and droids.
Find me on Twitter: @HybopteraShasta
For further information: www.utas.edu.au/sciences-engineering