Sweep net in hand, Katie Yost wants to find out how well a restored wetland previously rife with invasive reed canary grass near Route 72 in Newark, Del., supports insect biodiversity compared to a meadow filled with native plants.
Yost, a University of Delaware senior in biological sciences from Dover, Del., is one of 116 UD Summer Scholars who showcased their research at the Scholars Poster Session on April 22 in the Trabant University Center.
“This research project provided me with lots of new knowledge, skills and hands-on experience that I could not have gotten inside a classroom,” says Yost, who used a sweep net, which resembles a butterfly net but with a sturdier material for its collecting bag, to catch beetles, tiny flies, spiders, grasshoppers and other insects for examination and counting at the two sites.
Along the way, Yost says she discovered a lot about insects — after all, she collected 13,000 of them — as well as about taxonomy, data analysis and research processes. She plans to continue the research this summer.
Students in UD’s Summer Scholars Program work on their projects full-time for 10 weeks in the summer and continue on to complete three credits of research the following academic year. Each scholar is sponsored by a faculty member, who guides the student’s efforts to understand and engage in research.
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