Teen Science Café: Lions and Tigers in Trees

How Insect Predators Protect Our Urban Forests

The most famous quote about entomology is attributed to Einstein (though we don’t know if he really said it!): "If the bee disappears off the surface of the globe, man would have no more than four years to live." We rely on bees for food, and we know that without them, most of us would die of starvation. But insect predators, like parasitic wasps, are our less-celebrated superheroes, protecting the crops and trees that we need in order to survive from other insect pests. In this Teen Science Café, Emily talked about why we can’t live without insect predators and what we know about how we are changing their well-being — and, therefore, our own — as we change the Earth. She discussed her current research on scale insects and the effects of urban heat islands.

About the Speaker

Emily Meineke is from Greenville, North Carolina. She is currently pursuing her PhD at NC State University in Entomology and spends a lot time staring at tiny insects in the trees. Learning about insects is both her work and her hobby. She loves sharing her passion for insects with kids and often visits schools to talk about them. She also keeps a blog about her work and interests and contributes to other blogs as a guest writer. When she isn’t teaching, writing, or thinking about insects, she’s reading, running, or cooking, usually with her fiancé Joe.

Open Minds: Teen Science Cafés

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