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Technology plays a crucial role in insect science

Technology plays a crucial role in insect science

Technology plays a crucial role in the development of insect science–and entomologists, their students and society must embrace it, says Christian Nansen, an associate professor in the University of California, Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.

Nansen keynoted a presentation at the virtual meeting of the 47th Congress of the Colombian Entomology Society, themed “Frontiers in Entomology.” 

He delivered his virtual presentation in three parts: Parts 1-3 and Final Thoughts. They are now available on his website as YouTube videos.

“I argue that, in the near future, we as university professors may have to look beyond publication of results in a research article–that students and society will likely demand more from us,” Nansen said. “We can embrace and integrate technologies into what we do to create educational platforms, which include exposure to technologies and therefore enable students to acquire highly ‘marketable’ career skill sets. 

“We can integrate discussions about entrepreneurship into our research and education–demonstrate to funding bodies, colleagues, and students that we take development and adoption of science-driven solutions seriously,” he said.

In his three-part lecture, Nansen provides examples of his research and approaches to university education. 

“The lecture,” he explains, “describes three elements in my program: optical sensing to diagnose insects, smartphone app development, and use of insect mass-rearing to biodegrade waste streams. Applied research, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship are the denominators tying these three elements together.”

In addition to insect ecology and remote sensing, Nansen’s research interests include integrated pest management, host plant stress detection, host selection by arthropods, pesticide performance, and use of reflectance-based imaging in a wide range of research applications. 

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