Student Takeover! – Lucy Pocock

Sharing insight into the world of MSc Entomology courses at Harper Adams University doesn’t just stop at module related tales. A major part of our journey is the people we spend it with. As promised, I would like to introduce you to some of the wonderful students studying Entomology with us this year. We have come from a range of backgrounds, knowledge and expertise – none of us quite the same. So, I hope you find comfort (or simply enjoyment!) in learning about the diversity of Entomology.

Today the Mastering Entomology blog is taken over by the lovely Lucy Pocock (@Lucy_Pocock_).

“I am currently an Ecologist looking to specialise in Entomology. My path to entomological enthusiasm started in 2015, with a trip as a conservation research volunteer to the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. I contributed to many surveys, but it was butterfly surveys I enjoyed the most, the sheer quantity and diversity of insects caught in the traps amazed me, as did the botfly larvae many people received from mosquito bites. Upon learning about the host specificity, multiple life stages and morphological forms that botfly’s and other insects have, I evolved a strong desire to delve further into entomology. When I returned from my time abroad, I applied for a Wildlife Conservation degree at Liverpool John Moores University and decided to keep some insects to expand my knowledge. I graduated in 2020, with a 1st class degree.”

“The lack of habitat information for many rare (or simply under recorded) insect species, is what driven me to define the habitat characteristics of the bog bush cricket Metrioptera brachyptera, on behalf of Lancashire Wildlife Trust (LWT)for my dissertation project. With species rapidly declining and extinction rates estimated to outweigh discovery by around 50%, defining such conditions has proved vital for the conservation of many species. The information from my study, has provided LWT with invaluable information to aid a reintroduction strategy of M. brachyptera to one of their regenerating peat bog sites. I am now part of the LWT species reintroduction group, where I breed M. brachyptera in my spare time. This has proven a tricky species to breed in past efforts, with species specific information really lacking. So far, the project is going well and the small population of 3 pairs has produced almost 330 eggs. However, this species has diapause of two years and must be subject to specific incubation cycles, so the hard part isn’t over yet! The (hopefully) resulting population, will be used to populate the bog bush cricket reintroduction project, which is part of a much larger project to restore peat bogs in the Manchester Mosslands. The lack of information available for the bog bush cricket brought up many more questions than answers in my dissertation project and breeding programme, and I hope to continue studying the species for my MSc research module.”

“I also currently keep two species of Phasmid (Sipyloidea sipylus and Phobaeticus magnus)and have one Hymenopus coronatus individual, the latter of which also requires me to keep many insect feeders too.”

Keep your eyes peeled for more student takeovers in the next few weeks as well as updates from a range of Entomology modules!

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