A team of entomologists at Harper Adams University will join events across the UK and beyond this summer with a new look thanks to specially-designed clothing - plus a little help from some insects.
The entomology shirts are worn by both students and staff at the University who head out to events, such as this week’s Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, to talk about all things Harper Adams and entomology.
Visit us at our stand #today! We have live #insects at #BigBangFair @theNEC & want to show you how amazing these little guys can be ????— Insect Week (@insectweek) June 22, 2022
Special thanks to our team today from @HarperAdamsUni @HarperOnTour@royentsoc #InsectWeek22 #InsectWeek #LittleThingsThatRunTheWorld https://t.co/n8oS6JPdsw pic.twitter.com/T82mXZvBxR
Via the links the entomology department has founded with industry – and the populations of insects which they have developed for research – the team were also able to find a source of funding to cover their new outfits.
Reader in Entomology at Harper Adams, Dr Tom Pope, explained: “Through the work we do in entomology here at Harper Adams we have established populations of a wide range of key agriculture pests.
“We are able to make these resources available to companies working on different aspects of crop protection such as supplying insects for these companies to complete their own research, which in turn assists in development of new crop protection tools for the industry.
“These activities provide an income to the group and it is through this route that we have been able to purchase this branded clothing.”
Each shirt features the unique design drawn up by the students, which includes insects among and around its lettering, with Maria Damascena – who is working on aphid research at the University – taking the lead in shaping her colleagues’ views into the finished product.
She explained: “We started the process by considering what people thought would be nice as a logo, and we overall agreed having the name with some insects on it would be good.
“Then, one of the PhD students, Sotiria, made a drawing and that was the starting point for designing the logo, which was done by me on Canva graphic design software.
“It was a great experience. Everyone was getting involved with ideas and I took the lead to develop it as I had previously worked with the software, and I am personally interested in graphic design and drawing.”
Shortly after making their UK debut this week, the shirts will then also be taking the Harper Adams message internationally.
Tom added: “Several of the entomology team will be heading to ICE, the International Congress of Entomology, in Helsinki next month.
“We will be representing the university at the biggest international entomology conference – which usually happens every four years, but due to the pandemic it will be six years since the last meeting.
“It will be a great opportunity to show off our design!”