Excellence in Insect Science Symposium leverages insect-focused solutions to global grand challenges

The Michigan State University Department of Entomology presents the Excellence in Insect Science Symposium (EIS), an event designed for idea generation and building collaboration to address global grand challenges.

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East Lansing, Michigan – The Department of Entomology at Michigan State University is excited to announce the Excellence in Insect Science Symposium. This 2-day event will bring together innovate scientists, industry, government, educators and others who center their work around insects, harnessing their collective expertise to address the symposium theme of: Leveraging Insect Science for Global Grand Challenges. Sessions center on Climate Resilience, One Health, and STEM Education

According to MSU Entomology Chair Hannah Burrack, “This event is focused on collaborative idea generation rather than traditional scientific presentations, and I expect it to supercharge research leveraging insect-focused solutions for climate resilience, one health, and STEM education within MSU Entomology and beyond.”

The featured speakers for each of our three challenge themes include:

Climate Resilience - Rufus Isaacs, Ph.D., University Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University.

One Health - Ben Beard, MS, PhD, Deputy Division Director, Division of Vector Borne Diseases, United States Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Stem Education - The Bug Chicks, Kristie Reddick, MS and Jessica Honaker, MS

May Berenbaum, Ph.D., Head of the Department of Entomology and Swanlund Chair of Entomology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, will be the closing speaker to wrap up two days of learning, networking, and collaboration.

Breakout panel discussions featuring world-renowned experts in Climate Resilience, One Health and STEM Education will help move the conversation forward on topics such as:

Climate Resilience:

Christie Bahlai, Corrie Moreau, Alisha Shah, Alex Harmon-Threatt, and Fatma Kaplan

Agriculture & Plant-Insect Interactions

Margarita Lopez-Uribe, Jordan Hesterman, Jared Ali, and Todd DeKryger

One Health:
Arthropods & Health

Brian Allen, Warren Booth, Lyric Bartholomay, Debajit Saha, and Sarah Hamer

 Insects as Food & Feed

Florence Dunkel, Jeff Tomberlin, Joseph Yoon, and Deborah Ruth Amulen 

STEM Education:
Increasing Diversity & Access

Doug Golick, Kristi Bugajski, Rhonda Hamm, Ana Chicas-Mosier, and Eleanor Spicer-Rice

Science Communication & Outreach 

Gwen Pearson, Stephanie Doyle, Tierney Brosius, Jeni Ruisch, and Jennifer Angus

In addition to the symposium sessions, there will be a variety of extra insect themed offerings. On May 16, 2024, the MSU Bug House, in cooperation with the Ohio State University BUGmobile, will provide hands on encounters to acquaint participants with a variety of insects. The MSU Dairy Store will create custom Insect-themed ice cream flavors, available with meals during the symposium and at the Bug House Outreach event. Joseph Yoon, an Edible Insect Ambassador, world renowned chef and thought leader in entomophagy (or eating insects) will offer cooking demonstrations and work with the MSU Kellogg Center chefs to feature insects in the symposium menu. Jennifer Angus is a visual artist and EIS expert for "Science Communication and Outreach" panel. Her show entitled "FLYING JEWELS & OTHER LOFTY INSECTS" will be on exhibit at the Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A visit to the exhibit is being coordinated for the afternoon of May 15, 2024. A movie night featuring an insect theme will be sponsored by the MSU Department of Entomology. It will take place at the Kellogg Center on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. Tickets are $10 and include unlimited snacks and drinks.

The symposium will take place May 16-17, 2024, in East Lansing, Michigan at the Kellogg Conference Center. A poster session highlighting the three areas of focus: Climate Resilience, One Health, and STEM Education, will take place on Thursday, May 16, 2023.

See the EIS website for more details.

Media Contacts:

Judi Melena Smelser
Communications Manager
Department of Entomology

Hannah Burrack
Department of Entomology

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