It's What We Do (Part 2)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Getting back to the last It's What We Do, I promised to explain what this is:

This is a black light trap we use to monitor insect pests with. The black light trap emits an ultraviolet light. Many insects are attracted by short wavelengths of the light spectrum. When its dark, the insects are attracted to the light, fly towards it and are caught at the bottom of the trap. We use this type of trap to monitor agricultural insects to determine the emergence and flight patterns of these pests and assist growers in making informed crop management decisions.

The trap is operated all summer long. Last year, one of the undergraduates working for Ron had the distinct pleasure of collecting trap contents every day, sorting, and identifying the insects. We helped her go through the results and at last week's meeting in St. Louis, she presented a poster of her findings and got first place..congrats Caitlin!

Also bringing home first was Nick who presented a talk on his master's degree research on soybean aphids.