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Insect collection and entomology resource room now open

Posted 24 June 2014

Dr David Llewellyn and Professor Leather open the EntoHub

Entomology staff, students and researchers at Harper Adams University now have access to an extensive insect collection and resource room on campus, known as the ‘EntoHub.’

Thousands of carefully preserved specimens from across the world can be found in the Insect Collection Room, some of which are more than 100-years-old.

The EntoHub was officially opened today as part of National Insect Week, June 23-29, after months of preparation.

Entomology is the scientific study of insects and Harper Adams is the only UK institution to teach this subject at postgraduate level. Professor of Entomology, Professor Simon Leather, said: “I am very excited about is new resource and grateful to the university for its support. 

“The EntoHub will enable MSc students to improve their taxonomic skills as they will be able to access specimens directly whenever they want rather than just during taught classes. 

“It will also be used as a teaching resource, for example as part of their insect curation practicals. As well as the insect collection, the EntoHub houses insect sampling equipment and a selection of identification manuals and specialist texts. 

“We hope that current and future students will help with the maintenance and cataloguing of the collection and add new specimens from the local area.

The specimens were donated from private collections and sourced from Imperial College London, where the MSc in Entomology was based until 2012.

One of the oldest insects in the collection is a large blue butterfly captured in Bude in June 1900, whilst the heaviest is a goliath beetle which can weigh up to 100g.

Joining in the celebrations was Jonathan Finch from Nottingham who studies MSc Entomology. The 23-year-old said: “The EntoHub is an amazing display of diversity across a wide variety of species.

“It is really great that the university has invested in the collection and shows a dedication to the course and the profession.

“There are few collections such as this outside of London, so it really is a highlight for students choosing to come here.”

Aside from officially opening the EntoHub, guests were also invited to tour the facilities, speak to the staff and researchers behind it all and enjoy a specially decorated insect cupcake.

Volunteers are now being sourced to help catalogue the impressive collection.

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