Featured Entomology undergraduate student Stephen Curtiss Ireland

Interview with featured Entomology undergraduate student Stephen Curtiss Ireland


Name: Stephen Curtiss Ireland

Hometown: Detroit, MI

Future plans: I'm hoping to join a Master’s program for the fall 2014 semester, and after that make a quick transition from academia into private industry while maintaining involvement in community IPM activities.

Why study entomology? There are lots of good reasons. I particularly like the notion of developing efficacious molecular pest solutions that also minimize harmful environmental externalities, so the results are good for us and good for the environment. Also, as an entomologist, our research subjects are highly usable model organisms. Finally, there are a number of compounds still unknown in insects that could potentially have applications in many areas of technology.

Who inspired your interest in entomology? My list of heroes is long, but Richard Feynman, Barbara McClintock and Niel deGrasse Tyson are a few standouts. All share an unmistakable veneration for the world as it is, and I think it's in that spirit that I am inspired to pursue my own inclination: entomology.

What has been your best experience with entomology? A toss-up between a study abroad in Gainseville, FL and a summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) spent in up-state New York. The Florida trip was part of the MSU Forensic Entomology (ENT 401) directed study and took place at the University of Florida's Department of Entomology. It was a great first step into insect study and was a chance to meet some pretty amazing people and tour the entomology department. The REU was a Summer Research Scholars program at the Cornell Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY. This was a chance to see what others are doing in agricultural research and meet many new people.

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