My name is Hillary Morin, and I am a life-long lover of the natural world, especially insects. I graduated May of 2015 from the University of Maine with a B.S. in Biology and a focus of Ecology. While there, I spent four years working for entomologists Dr. Frank Drummond and Dr. Eleanor Groden on several projects. These included honeybee and native bee ecology, research on spotted-winged drosophila and winter moth, two invasive species in Maine, and blueberry research. I also enjoyed two courses on aquatic entomology.
While at the University of Maine, I conducted an undergraduate honors thesis project on native natural enemies of the larval stage of the winter moth, an invasive in Maine. After graduation, I spent the summer working in Dr. John Tooker’s lab at Penn State University, primarily under graduate student Anna Busch. I gained experience with corn pest research and integrated pest management. This past fall, I completed an internship under Dr. Robert Kula at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, further identifying three types of parasitoids to species or morphospecies from my honors thesis. I had an amazing time at the Smithsonian, learning the standards of proper curating, and the taxonomic work that goes into identifying specimen. My research demonstrated a significant relationship between ichneumonid wasp and winter moth abundance, and there is a potential that I collected a new species in the family Ormocerus Walker, 1834 (Pteromalidae : Ormocerinae). I currently am working on these two aspects of my project and plan to publish before next fall.
I hope to spend next fall working towards my Master’s degree in entomology. I am inspired by what I learn through walking in the footsteps of past entomologists. I greatly enjoy instances in research where I am combining techniques of the past with new processes and adding my own ideas, for example the digitization I have the privilege to work in Dr. Deans lab. I am also inspired by education and outreach. Such a small percentage of the general public have a deep understanding of the insect community around us all, and moments where I have the opportunity to share my excitement with others are why I strive to become an entomologist.
Have a wonderful end to the week, and I look forward to writing more posts on this blog!