The Triplehorn Insect Collection collection holds approximately 4 million specimens from all insect groups from various parts of the world. Preserving and making such a large collection available for study by researchers is a formidable task. In general terms that work involves everything from replacing substandard drawers and trays for ones made of modern archival quality materials, to pest infestation prevention (and control at times), to updating names and re-organizing each group according to the most recent taxonomic publications, to digitizing the specimen label information and photographing specimens.
We are currently working on the upgrading of large portions of the collection, including Coleoptera (beetles), Lepidoptera (butterflies & moths), and Hymenoptera (bees and wasps). We are currently working on the digitization of beetles and butterflies. We are also embarking on a citizen science project.
Collections have a key role in the training of the biodiversity scientists of the future. To fulfill our educational mission, we offer curatorial internships for Ohio State students (read more about it here and here and here) and for students from other educational institutions.
We also strive to provide collections-based research experience for undergraduates from Ohio State, from connecting students with professionals in their area of interest to getting students involved in special projects like the Fireflies of Ohio.
Over the years we have worked with various artists and art students to bring the beauty and the critical role of insects in the natural environment to the general public in interesting and attractive ways. In order to access specimens for photography or sketching, students receive training in the handling of museum-quality specimens and on the proper documentation of specimen label data.
Some of our most recent collaborations:
Elizabeth Alvarez (2010-2014, 2018)
Katherine Beigel (2015-2017)
Evie Moran (2017-present)
Ardine Nelson (2017)
Jessika Raisor (2017-present)
Jordan Reynolds (2017-present)
Tamara Sabbagh (2017-present)