As a runner up to the Royal Entomological Society’s essay competition, Bea Kerry’s creativity shines as much as her knowledge on some of the smallest creatures studied at Harper. Studying BSc (Hons) Zoology with Entomology, she is incredibly passionate about what she is studying and is keen to help showcase entomology in a more playful but still informative light.
Bea shared the inspiration for her essay piece, saying: “I would summarise my article as pretty unlike the typical Antennae piece. It is a satirical gossip style magazine article about a caterpillar on its ‘weight loss transformation’ into a beautiful butterfly.
“There wasn’t anything in particular that inspired my piece, I just wanted to write something that wasn’t your typical dry entomological article about the in-depth classification. As the brief said to write something in a popular style, I figured what better than a gossip magazine to appeal to everyone!”
When thinking about what she could write, Bea followed her passion. She explained: “I thought I should write an article that is informative but fun to read; if you don’t enjoy writing it then others won’t enjoy reading it.
“For anyone else looking to enter the competition, if your niche is the biology and lives of ant woodlice, go for it! Your passion for the subject will shine through, and that’s what makes a good article.”
Bea stumbled upon the competition when looking for grant opportunities for equipment she could use to further her studies. Entering the competition for something fun to do, she did not think anything would come of it - let alone be placed a runner-up. She commented: “It’s very exciting to be a runner up, and it will be interesting and slightly jarring to see a gossip magazine article about ‘Lepidora’s weight loss journey’ next to all of the serious research articles. Let’s hope it makes other people laugh!”
Bea has completed her first year at Harper with the Zoology department. Having initially thought she may want to be a vet or a veterinary nurse, Bea had a change of heart when working with Montgomeryshire Moth Group. She said: “Hands on time with animals is the key part of what I want to achieve with my work. After spending time with Montgomeryshire Moth Group, I realised how wide and interesting the world of insects is.
“Don’t get me wrong - I still freak out on seeing big spiders or crane flies - but for me the world of insects allows a lot of hands on contact whilst also appealing to my analytical and organised nature through classification. Sounds pretty nerdy, but opening up a moth trap in the morning can be a bit like Christmas, especially if you get some rare species in there!”
Although only one year into her studies, Bea is ambitious and keen to achieve. She shared: “My future ambitions are to work in the entomology field, ideally as a lepidopterist with moths and butterflies. Although, I do really like bees and there are several research projects on these that look interesting too. As butterflies, moths and bees all have key roles as pollinators and are also under real threat from climate change, I would ideally like a role that combined research with conservation, helping to protect these insects whilst also helping protect our food supply chain due to their integral role in it.”
To find out more about the Royal Entomological Society essay winners from Harper, click here. To discover more about how you can learn the intricacies of the insect world, view our zoology undergraduate course here. Want to speak to a student for yourself? Ask them a question below.