City, state, country:
Lexington, Kentucky, USA
I have a lot of experience collecting and identifying insects. Most of my scientific endeavors have had taxonomy play an important role. I began as an intern at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History where I worked on a long-term moth study and identified over 100,000 moths in 4 years. Concurrently, my Master's degree and work with the Ohio Biological Survey involved the identification of over 70,000 aquatic beetles. During this period, I also worked as a field assistant for the Ohio Dragonfly Society, collecting and identifying Odonata.
My Ph.D. project examined the evolution of larval morphology and habitat in snail-killing flies (Sciomyzidae). This is where I learned DNA sequencing and phylogenetics/systematics, and this study also had an important taxonomic component. As a post-doc, I worked on many projects involving molecular gut content analysis (detecting prey DNA in the gut contents of predators) - identifying the important arthropod predators of various crop pests.
I am currently working in a Hymenoptera systematics lab at the University of Kentucky, and conducting molecular gut content research.
I collect beetles for fun, focusing on wood-boring beetles (Cerambycidae, Buprestidae) and aquatics - my favorites are the "hydradephaga" - specifically, Dytiscidae, Noteridae and Haliplidae.