Home Education Murray State professor names new insect species after daughter

Murray State professor names new insect species after daughter

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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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