Posted: November 6, 2017

Hi! I’m Jen, and I am a senior majoring in plant science, horticulture option.

The opportunity to work at Tooker Labs was mentioned by Elizabeth Rowen, my TA for Introductory Entomology. Going into the summer, I was not too particularly interested in agriculture, but I wanted experience in entomology. The labor was intensive and required hours of work to assemble the experiments. I was primarily working with Elizabeth Rowen and Kirsten Pearsons on their projects and helped with a few other graduate students' research projects. It really is neat to see what they are working on and how one situation has various impacts. Learning about neonicotinoids and its impact on the environment was surprising. To find it in water sources is pretty alarming being that neonics are not the most beneficial chemical. Once I understood the intentions of the research and everything involved, I began to appreciate agricultural entomology more than I had. The most interesting work I got to do at Tooker labs was collecting pit fall traps from the field and processing them, although processing microbiota was a close second. The diversity of insects in the field, in particular beetles, was pretty neat to see; each month presented different beetles. My favorite month is late July when the tiger beetles are starting to show!

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John Tooker, Ph.D.
  • Professor of Entomology