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Women in Entomology: Meet the Superheroes of Insect Science

Women in Entomology: Meet the Superheroes of Insect Science
Women from the Cornell University Insect Collection are doing justice for six-legged creatures around the globe. Dr. Corrie Moreau leads a team of enthusiastic entomologists who study all facets of ant ecology and evolution. These women research everything from ant gut bacteria to insect genomics to how urban ecosystems help insects thrive! Join us as host Nancy Scales-Coddington inquires about their journeys to becoming entomologists and ask your own questions about their experiences. They will share how bugs play a crucial role in ecosystems and are disappearing at an alarming rate. Learn how you can help them at this virtual event. 


Dr. Corrie Moreau is the Martha N. and John C. Moser Professor of Arthropod

Biosystematics and Biodiversity at Cornell University in the Departments of Entomology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in Ithaca, New York, USA.  She is also the Director and Head Curator of the Cornell University Insect Collection with over 7 million specimens.  Dr. Moreau's research on the evolution and diversification of ants and their symbiotic bacteria couples field-based research with molecular and genomic tools to address the origin of species and how co-evolved systems benefit both partners.  Also, she pursues questions on the role of biogeography, trait evolution, and symbiosis in shaping macroevolutionary processes to better understand broad-scale evolutionary patterns of life.  She has published over 100 scientific papers.  In addition to her passion for scientific research, Dr. Moreau is also engaged with efforts to promote science communication and increase diversity in the sciences. Twitter: @CorrieMoreau

Megan Barkdull is a Ph.D. candidate at Cornell University in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, where her research focuses on the evolution and development of complex traits in social insects. Broadly, she seeks to understand how ants' genes           

produce traits related to sociality, like division of labor within ant colonies. Megan is also passionate about using natural history collections to advance scientific research and to connect with the public. Twitter: @meganbarkdull_


Sylvana Ross is a new PhD student at Cornell University in the Department of

Entomology where she focuses on how urban environments influence the dynamics of a species’ trait variation, selection, and species diversification. Her areas of research include studying the genetic variation between urban and natural ant populations to give insight into the role human driven environmental change has on a species’ phenotypes and genotypes. Sylvana worked as a science educator for grades K-12 for the past four years and hopes to continue outreach work with students of color to help them find their belonging within their passions. It is her goal to help spark empathy for the natural world and fight for racial and environmental justice within our urban communities. Twitter: @sylvii_ro

Nancy Scales-Coddington is an award winning host and executive producer.

She has a background in environmental science, biology, science communication and is a women in STEM advocate. She has taught science communication at Cornell University, Organization for Tropical Studies and Binghamton University. Nancy pushes digital boundaries in sharing stories in science. Twitter: @NancyCoddington

Check out the online exhibit featuring insects from Cornell University Insect Collection on display at Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, NY.

This event streamed live on October 20, 2022



Visit Cornell University Insect Collection on YouTube.

This show is sponsored by theCornell University Entomology Collection, Paleontological Research Institution and its Museum of the Earth, National Girls Collaborative Project and WSKG Public Media.