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Meet the Entomologist: Sabrina Hayes

Sabrina Hayes is a 4-H Extension Agent and Entomology Research Scientist

She was kind enough to share some of her knowledge with me about her background in Entomology (the branch of zoology concerned with the study of insects). She has an MS in Entomology from Florida A&M University and is a 15-year molecular researcher.

GEC: Tell us about what you do!

SH: I am a 4-H agent and Entomology Researcher at Florida A&M University. I am responsible for helping youth discover their passions and fostering positive relationships between youth and adults. I pilot programs that have an entomology focus and introduce students throughout the Big Bend area to the fascinating world of insects. I also help undergraduate and graduate students understand molecular techniques needed for their research. I conduct research on honey bees, kudzu bugs and mosquitoes.

GEC: Was there a specific moment that drew you to insects?

SH: I was hired to work as a lab tech at the John A Mulrennan Public Health Entomology Research and Education Center and it wasn't until after working with mosquitoes that I found a deep appreciation for insects.

GEC: What is your favorite insect and why?

SH: Toxorhynchites mosquitoes are huge but absolutely beautiful plus they don't bite. I also like other mosquito species because they vector so many different viruses and can be found just about everywhere.

GEC: What is your funniest or fondest insect memory?

SH: Once I was teaching and took a group out to collect insects for our biodiversity lesson and a horned devil caterpillar crawled up my pant leg.

GEC: What is one thing that you wish the general public knew about insects?

SH: Just 1 thing? That is tough there are so many things I wish the general public knew about insects. Most insects are harmless and you don't need to kill them.

GEC: Is there anything else you would like to share?

SH: Entomology is a vary diverse field. Molecular and Medical Entomology are my favorite parts of studying entomology but for a short time I have been exploring entomophagy and I love it. Eating insects is not weird or gross and more people should try them. Follow Sabrina on Facebook or Instagram


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