Posted 8 August 2018
"Every MSc Entomology project carried out at the University starts with the aim that it could lead to publication in a peer review journal. Max’s project is a really good example of this approach."
Harper Adams University entomology student Max Tercel’s Master’s paper looking at insect flight has been published in the journal Physiological Entomology.
The paper, written by the 25-year-old from Okehampton, Devon for his Master’s project, is titled: ‘Phylogenetic clustering of wingbeat frequency and flight-associated morphometrics across insect orders’.
His supervisor, Dr Tom Pope said: “In his project, Max was studying different insect orders and looking to see if there is a relationship between the weight of an insect, the size of their wings and how quickly the insect beats its wings.
“In a nutshell, he was investigating how this relationship linked to the evolution of the insect groups and therefore if the frequency with which they beat their wings is similar in more closely-related insect species but differs between less closely related species, and this is indeed what the results show.”
Max’s approach to this study was unique compared to previous work in this area, as he videoed all of the insects included in his investigation with a slow motion camera.
“People have looked at wing beat frequency and insect size before,” added Dr Pope, “by taking all of the available studies and then doing an analysis of all these different studies that were taken at different times, in different places, using different techniques.
“What Max has done is to do it all in within a single investigation, which is a nice thing as it’s supported what was already believed but he has shown it in a much more systematic and controlled way.
“It’s brilliant that his paper has been published. Every MSc Entomology project carried out at the University starts with the aim that it could lead to publication in a peer review journal. Max’s project is a really good example of this approach. The MSc Entomology projects are addressing a wide range of questions that are furthering our understanding of entomology.
“I’d like to thank Dr Fabio Veronesi for helping Maximillian with the statistical element of his project and to Dr Victoria Talbot for purchasing the Slow Motion Company Limited camera for the labs and allowing Maximillian to use it so heavily for his project.”
To read Max’s paper in full, click here.