Q: How did you become interested in entomology?
A: I’ve been interested in Entomology since I was a kid, always flipping over rocks in my back yard in New York to see what arthropods would be hiding underneath and building little terrariums to house to cool ones I found for a while. I think watching nature documentaries as a kid also got me interested in predator-prey interactions; the excitement and suspense in watching lions hunt gazelles on screen developed my love of watching all sorts of predatory encounters, and since insect predators are incredibly eccentric and diverse I just became captivated by them. In undergrad I learned about the import role of insect predators in preventing pest damage in farming systems, and that’s when it connected that I could join my passion for insect predators into work beneficial to agriculture and food production.
Q: Why would you recommend entomology as a career?
A: For anyone interested in the natural world, insects are always present and playing important roles in how ecosystems function, whether that’s in a tropical rainforest, a meadow in your backyard, or deep in the soil underneath a concrete parking lot. As Entomologists, we get to learn about all these incredible roles that insects play, and try to use our understanding of insects and their environment to solve problems in agriculture, human health, even engineering! It’s also a wonderful and accessible teaching tool, insects are exciting and everywhere, and are great at demonstrating key concepts in evolution, environmental science, and animal behavior.