Insects May Hold Keys to Biodiversity

Inside USD -- Biodiversity is a big topic. And damselflies are small insects. But it turns out the latter may be able to teach us a lot about the former.

University of San Diego assistant professor of biology Adam Siepielski and two students explored the possibility in a field expedition to dozens of lakes and ponds throughout California this summer. Supported by a four-year National Science Foundation grant for $400,000, Siepielski and the students traveled up the east side and down through the western Sierras, conducting observational studies and field experiments on populations of the colorful dragonfly-like insect in lakes and ponds.

“Impressive levels of species diversity are found throughout the Earth’s different environments,” noted Siepielski (pictured below). “The importance of this diversity to humanity ranges from clean water to medicine to recreation and art. A key question is whether or not mechanisms exist that act to maintain this diversity.” (Full Story)