Home Education Murray State professor names new insect species after daughter

Murray State professor names new insect species after daughter

by Jim Mosley
Murray State professor

Scientists never stop being scientists – even when helping their toddlers in the garden.

That’s why Dr. Laura Sullivan-Beckers, a Murray State University biology professor, noticed something interesting in the standing water where her daughter, Sylvie, (now 5) had overwatered a flowerbed. Floating in the water was a new insect species.

Sullivan-Beckers had initially identified the insects as treehoppers, but after collecting thousands over that summer, she discovered 72 belonged to a new species. She sent samples to Washington, D.C. for confirmation.

Sullivan-Beckers credits Sylvie’s important role in the discovery by naming the new insect Hebetica sylviae.

Hayley Robb

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