Featured Entomology undergraduate student Connor Sturr

Connor Sturr has two passions: entomology and music. Learn how this Spartan Marching Band member got started with studying entomology at MSU, and the advice he gives to others considering its major.

June 18, 2018 - Author: Mallory Marienfeld

Connor Sturr

Name: Connor Sturr

Hometown: Norton Shores, Michigan

Future study or career plans: I want to attend graduate school and research biological control of pest and invasive species.

Tell us about your experiences working with professor Chris DiFonzo. Right now we are doing joint research with Ohio State University studying the rise of Asiatic garden beetle populations in southern Michigan and Ohio. This kind of work is really helping me get experience with not only extension work, but also being able to search for and identify different larval species in the fields. It is really making me excited to learn more about biological control and its applications to situations like this and more.

What is the best selling point about an entomology major that you would like others to know? Since there aren’t many who call this their major, it is a really tight knit group of people and it feels like you’re listened to more when it comes to advising.

What or who inspired your interest in entomology? Nothing specific really started my love for entomology. As a kid I really loved being in nature, and the diverse and tiny world really intrigued me. I wanted to dive right in and my family got behind it, and I was getting bug-hunting kits for every major holiday. I even dressed as an entomologist for Halloween in second grade. It was a love that only grew and stayed inside me since I was very little.

What has been your best experience with entomology? That would be my freshmen year of college when I was still deciding what to major in. I was cycling through different things when I thought of my childhood love for entomology, and I decided to look into it by meeting with Chris DiFonzo, who was a student adviser at that time. She showed me around the Department and talked about the classes I’d take as a major, and I was instantly hooked. Starting out with the Fundamentals of Entomology class only confirmed that I knew I was in the right spot.

What is your favorite activity to spend your time outside of your studies? I’m in the Spartan Marching Band playing baritone. It really is a crazy, fun experience to be able to march in Spartan Stadium every Saturday. Music is my second love behind entomology, and it pretty much takes up almost all my time in the fall when I prepare every week to come out of that tunnel and play my heart out.

What is your favorite insect? Growing up it was always a tie between the tiger beetle and ant lion larva. I always enjoyed how much of a versatile predator both were, and they both occurred frequently around my house. The tiger beetle (six-spotted tiger beetle, to be specific) always had the coolest appearance, and ant lion larvae had the coolest pit fall traps to catch their prey.

What is your favorite thing about MSU? It’s like its own little city. There’s so much to do right on campus and you don’t have to go anywhere else to have fun.

Do you have advice for anyone interested in an entomology major? If you’re even the slightest bit interested, don’t be afraid to check it out or talk to someone; our adviser, Amanda Lorenz-Reaves, is the nicest person and can answer any questions. I was uncertain about entomology when I first thought of it, but I am unbelievably glad now that I chose to look further into it.

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