On Saturday, November 8th Science Olympiad Entomology students Katherine Li, Sarah Lucas, Soleil Moffit, and Isabella Sims along with coaches Mrs. Stathos, Mrs. Butler, and parent driver Malisa Sims visited the UGA entomology department. Entomology is the study of insects and we were out for an education!
Several UGA undergrad students were there to greet us and introduced us to some live insects. They then introduced us to Nancy Miorelli, a graduate student in entomology. We learned that Nancy had taught several classes including Entomology for Teachers, Forensic Entomology, as well as the Ecuador Term Abroad-Insect Natural History & Plant Biology. It was wonderful to have access to a scientist so knowledgeable and passionate about her subject!
She began our adventure by bringing out various bug collections and even allowing us to view the insects under special microscopes while she explained how to identify them and how they impact our lives. We got a short course in forensic entomology and how scientists use insects that inhabit decomposing remains to aid legal investigations. Very interesting! We then explored mouth parts, leg, antennae, and wing adaptations, adaptations to different environments, and how insects mimic both other insects and the environment.