Monday, September 23, 2019

STIP Student Hannah Lewis Studies how Ecology and Entomology can be used to Support Forensic Evidence

What originally got me interested in this project were ideologies and methods of approach similar to the TV series Crime Scene Investigation (CSI). I was 12 years old and found his use of insects to help solve crimes fascinating. While growing up on a cattle farm, I was always around insects in nature and in how the tiny creatures could flourish on nearly every continent of this planet. This project is related to my long-term goals by providing me an opportunity to use the scientific method with a more tangible subject than what I am normally used to as a Psychology major. Honestly, the project has allowed me to realize how much I enjoy working with science within nature. In addition, it has allowed me to meet and work with great mentors and researchers that have provided priceless insight for my future.
What I do on a weekly basis- depending on the week includes running experiments, collecting samples, sitting at a microscope classifying insects, and recording data. There is also a great deal of research needed to become more familiar with identifying traits of each taxon of insects. Most of the time is spent at the microscope identifying insects though. This term I discovered more about how ecology and entomology can be used to support forensic evidence. I also discovered a whole new outlook on insect communities within our everyday lives. My skills using the scientific method have been sharpened and my interest in ecology has been encouraged.