Q3: How did you become interested in entomology?
A: By accident. I majored in plant science in undergrad but worked in a lab doing a bee-violet pollination project. I wanted to do more work in pollination systems, so I applied to a different lab for my master’s doing an insect-plant interaction project. What I ended up with were accidental treehopper babies hatching from plants we ordered from a nursery. My PI worked with these treehoppers before, so she threw me in there to work on them. The project developed into how temperature can affect treehopper vibrational signals for mating. That is when I knew I wanted to work more on the insect side of things than the plant side of things. Also, looking back, I played with a lot of arthropods when I was a kid. I caught spiders and would have spider tournaments with my friends. I also had beetles attached to floss leash flying over my head. I guess I was training to be in an entomologist since I was young.
Q4: Why would you recommend entomology as a career?
A: If you love bugs this is obviously the right path for you. You must love what you do to call it a career, otherwise, it’s just a job. Entomology has so many more applications than people think. It’s not all agricultural and pollination (although equally important). It’s answering evolutionary and ecological questions while getting to work with the most interesting living organisms in the world. It’s contributing to the scientific knowledge database that can lead to technological innovations. I didn’t know that this is where I would end up, but I’m happy I did.