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Entomologists Talk About Their Favorite Insects and Why Collections Are Important

Our planet is teeming with multitudes of fascinating insects and there’s simply no time to study them all! Having a favorite one (for whatever reason) often helps narrow the choice down. In the following video, which was shot at the 2015 meetings of the Entomological Collections Network (ECN) and the Entomological Society of America, Derek Woller asks a diverse group of entomologists to name their favorite insects.

Why Collect Insects?

In the following video, Derek talks to Max Barclay, curator and collections manager of Coleoptera (beetles) at the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London. Dr. Barclay has traveled the globe collecting insects, describing numerous new species, and educating others through the power of public speaking (including a 2013 TED talk) on the many merits of insect collections. Listen in at 3:30 as he describes a really cool find on a beetle collected by Alfred Russell Wallace, Charles Darwin’s contemporary and co-inventor of the theory of natural selection.

Derek A. Woller

Derek A. Woller is a PhD candidate in the Song Lab of Insect Systematics and Evolution at Texas A&M University. His research is focused on attempting to better comprehend the speciation process in a fascinating group of scrub-lovin’ grasshoppers confined to xeric habitats in the southeastern U.S. He has aspirations of working as a curator or collections manager in a museum someday. Until then, in his spare time (of which he typically has none), he makes videos like these and enjoys doing outreach events with the public.

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