If you’re into bugs, don’t miss the Johnstone Lecture at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia on Sept. 26.
The speaker will be Jaret Daniels, associate professor of entomology at the University of Florida and director of the Florida Museum of Natural History’s McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity.
His talk, “Backyard Bugs,” is inspired by his recently published book, “Backyard Bugs: An Identification Guide to Common Insects, Spiders, and More.”
Daniels trained as an insect ecologist before focusing on conservation-related work, including pollinator conservation and declining butterfly species.
The book “is something I’ve wanted to do for some time because it’s a great way of encouraging young people to pay attention to the biodiversity that they find in their own landscapes,” Daniels said.
Daniels’ lecture will continue on the same track.
“I’m planning on doing a sort of virtual backyard tour of all the interesting insects that you might find,” said Daniels. Alongside a virtual tour, attendees will be given more detail about the histories and biologies of insects that can be found in a typical environment.
One example of an insect that could be uncovered is the Monarch butterfly, which Daniels calls the “most iconic butterfly,” but is aware that not many people know the background and detailed story of them.
Daniels hopes people leave the lecture with a better appreciation for insects and a motivation to look closer at the biodiversity in their own landscapes. He also hopes that his book, and his lecture, will help get people outdoors and looking at the important insect biodiversity that is around them.
“I mean, as a child myself, that’s where I learned about insects, in my parent’s yard,” he said. “And you know, without that experience I wouldn’t have become a scientist.”
The Johnstone Lecture, sponsored by the Friends of the Garden, is scheduled for Sept. 26 from 7-9 p.m. in the Visitor’s Center and Conservatory at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, 2450. S. Milledge Ave., in Athens, Ga.
The lecture is free, but reservations must be made by Sept. 22 at: https://botgarden.uga.edu/event/johnstone-lecture-backyard-bugs/.