CFANS Diversity Fellowship: Michelle Boone


I’m really motivated by my passion for
conservation and bees we all know are really important for the environment for
pollination so there are great species for me to focus on I’m also really
fortunate to get to work on the rusty patch bumblebee which is the new
Minnesota state bee but also federally endangered and we have it right here in
the Twin Cities so being able to work on the conservation of that species really
drives me to keep going my overall research question is about
detection probability of bumble bee species so what that is is the
probability of finding a species if it’s there so my target is the rusty patch
bumble bee of course because it’s in danger traditionally in entomology our
surveys are lethal we can’t do that anymore because we do have an endangered
species and we don’t want to negatively impact the population I’m really trying
to get it how can we survey for bees without killing them but also get
reliable estimates of the abundance and get reliable IDs another big goal of
mine is to really try to make my science and the conservation that I want to see
accessible people by the time I finish I want to have that in place so that we’re
not just but you know more papers into scientific journals that then that data
can actually be used to do some good I would not have the same opportunities
with a bachelor’s degree as I have getting this PhD so having that funding
has meant the world to me it’s enabled me to come to grad school I wouldn’t
have been able to be here without it it’s made the difference between me
maybe having to take a job outside my career of interest and to really enable
me to focus on conservation which is my my true passion

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