Shasta Henry


The Bug Doctor!

I'm from: Launceston, Tasmania
Current Location: Hobart, Tasmania
Position: PhD Candidate, School of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences, University of Tasmania
Field of research/work: Entomology & Invertebrate Ecology
YTS Years: 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024

Shasta's Notable career moments

  • Quit my job as a white water raft guide to start Uni

  • Failed an important maths exam (which was ok in the long-run)

  • Volunteered at the Smithsonian Museum to learn species ID

  • Worked at Mount Field National Park

  • Began my own research project on 'insect responses to fire'

  • It was really hard and I worked slowly

  • I got diagnosed with ADHD - this explains the past 6 years!

    I finally complete my PhD project! and,

    graduate from Bug-Girl to Bug-Doctor!

About Shasta Henry

I LOVE BUGS! I catch bugs, I count bugs and I study bugs – because I am an entomologist.

Insects are the most abundant and diverse animals on the planet. Meaning that they live in almost every environment and are involved in almost every ecosystem. I find that diversity fascinating and I love traveling because I get to see new insects everywhere I go.

Because there are so many different types of insects there are also many different ways to study them. I have worked on farms, collecting caterpillar eggs and testing how pesticides work. I have worked at a museum, discovering new species from the Amazonian Rainforest (this is how I got a beetle species named after me). Insects are used in forensics to help solve crimes, to inspire drones and technology, to help fight invasive species and, to produce more food for us. Do you like chocolate? Then you can thank the tiny flies which pollinate the cacao trees.

At the University of Tasmania, I study how our special native insects are being impacted by climate change. When a fire burns the Wilderness World Heritage Area, which insects survive and which ones disappear – and how long for?

I also love insects because they are beautiful, with their shiny shells and bright patterns, or when they are ugly, spiny and weird. I love them because they are tiny but complete, working organisms – it’s like holding a galaxy the size of a marble in the palm of your hand.

“All children have a bug phase; I never grew out of mine.” E.O.Wilson.

Watch Shasta's videos

Introducing Shasta Henry: (suitable for all ages)

A day in the life of an Entomologist: (suitable for all ages)

Catching Insects with Shasta Henry: (suitable for all ages)

Problem Solving: Displaying insects in hand sanitiser! (suitable for all ages)

Caterpillar Science and Dreamtime Stories with Shasta Henry:

Shasta's Photo Gallery