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The Curious Hermits: Solitary wasps and their ways

Speakers: Jeremy Frank, Richard Gilder Graduate School

Tuesday, May 21, 2019, 7-8:30 pm

Linder Theater

Jeremy Frank is a Ph.D. student at the Richard Gilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History, where he works with Dr. Jim Carpenter. His research focuses on sand wasps of the genus Bembix, a group of solitary wasps that has been a favorite of entomologists and animal behavior researchers for hundreds of years due to the dramatic nesting behaviors these insects display. As a result of this attention, the sand wasps have become one of the most thoroughly studied groups among all wasps. Despite this, their evolution remains very poorly understood. Through his research, Jeremy has worked to correct this problem by using morphology, behavior, and genetic data to develop the first-ever evolutionary trees for the sand wasps and provide an understanding of the history of this important group.


        In this presentation, Jeremy will discuss both the natural history of solitary wasps and the history of research on these insects. Although solitary wasps do not form large communal nests like their social cousins, their nesting behaviors are no less spectacular, and they have captivated generations of scientists and natural historians. Jeremy will outline the long history of solitary wasp study, spanning from ancient Rome to early 20th century America and beyond. Along the way, the lives and ways of notable species of solitary wasps will be presented. The ways of those who provided us with this information-from a Nobel Prize winner to not just one, but two teams of husband-and-wife entomologists-will also be discussed. Lastly, Jeremy will present his own work and discuss the future of solitary wasp research-including how you can contribute to it. 

Please attend this most informative lecture.


Please attend this most informative lecture.

Where:                Linder Theater, AMNH (West 77th Entrance)

Date:                   Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Time:                   7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Dinner:    Senn Thai Comfort Food, 452 Amsterdam Avenue, 9:00 p.m.

Society meetings are always open to the public with no admission charge.

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