Caitlin Peffers recently graduated with her bachelor’s of science in Entomology from Michigan State University. While there she worked on pheromone biosynthesis genes in spotted wing fruit flies (Drosophila suzukii), a recent and serious invasive pest.
Lydia Fyie graduated from Kalamazoo College in Michigan with dual degrees in Biology and Theater, and has worked for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency in the interim.
Both students look forward to combining their interests in ecology to provide a better understanding of mosquito seasonal biology in their natural environments. We are absolutely thrilled to have them! 🙂
Today undergraduate Biology major Victoria Colin successfully defended her research thesis! Victoria wrote an outstanding scientific-style manuscript describing the role of antioxidant proteins and the detailed methods she used to measure their abundance in the spermathecae (sperm storage organs) in reproductively active and overwintering mosquitoes. Here she is shown with OSU Entomology Department Chair, Dr. Carol Anelli who served on Victoria’s thesis committee.
After graduation, Victoria plans to put her research skills to good use and work in a lab for a year before attending medical school. Congratulations Victoria on a job very well done!
This month continues to be busy! PI Meuti presented a bit of her work on the relationship between daily and seasonal clocks to a diverse audience of researchers and scholars at Ohio State for the “Metaphors of Time” conference. Other topics at the conference included how Buddhists envision time, how time is depicted in cartoons and comics, and the ways that women’s bodies are used as metaphors of time in the Torah and Bible. Click here for a link to the conference webpage.
Later that week, PI Meuti then traveled to the OARDC Mosquito Conference, organized by Entomology professor Dr. Peter Piermarini. Here Megan presented her recent work on how male mosquitoes change the composition of their accessory gland proteins in response to daylength to influence female biting and egg laying.
Entomology grad student Emily Justus and PI Meuti prepared an insect feast for OSU students in Entomology 2101: Pests, plagues, pollinators and posions: Insects in Human Affairs. The topic du jour was entomophagy, or human consumption of insects. Although it might seem weird, insects are high in protein, low in fat & have all essential vitamins and minerals that we need. Better yet, they are cheaper and more sustainable to produce than chicken, cows or pigs. And they are delicious! No wonder they are being hailed as the “food of the future!” Today we had waxworm tacos, cookies with honey-glazed meal worms, and a cake made out of cricket flour.
Today PI Meuti along with dozens of other scientists from Ohio State’s Entomology and Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology volunteered at the Museum of Biological Diversity’s annual Open House. Over 3,000 people of all ages flocked to the museum and got to learn about the incredible plants and animals housed in the museum’s collection from bonafide experts. A personal highlight of the day was sharing the experience with my own kiddos, Luke and Madeleine.