Heather Stever was awarded first place in the 15-minute graduate student oral competition at the 2016 International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, Florida. She is completing her master of science degree in tropical conservation biology and environmental science at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.
Stever’s winning presentation was entitled Arthropod Biodiversity Estimates for Three Native Subalpine Plant Genera on Hawaiʻi Island’s Maunakea Volcano, and the title of the session in which she gave her presentation was Biodiversity, Biogeography and Conservation of Arthropods: Diversity.
The theme of the 25th congress was Entomology without Borders. Scientists and students interacted with the world’s leading experts in many specialties to exchange ideas and build on their research. Symposia highlighted the most recent advances in a wide diversity of entomological subjects from around the world. Students and early career scientists presented their research in front of a global audience and competed in global competitions.
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More on Heather Stever’s research
Insects and other arthropods are among the most abundant and diverse animals on Earth. This is especially true in Hawaiʻi where they constitute the majority of the islands’ endemic fauna and play important roles in Hawaiʻi’s ecosystem functions. Although arthropods are omnipresent in nearly every terrestrial ecosystem, studying these animals is challenging.
Detection and identification is difficult because many insect species are small and very mobile with immense population sizes, complex morphologies and diverse life histories. Moreover, their habitats may be in harsh climates and terrain that is difficult to access.
Stever hopes to overcome these challenges so that Hawaiʻi’s arthropod diversity can be studied effectively and efficiently.
By developing quantitative models that facilitate arthropod monitoring and annual comparisons, Stever’s research results will help the Office of Maunakea Management minimize the cost and effort required to monitor and protect rare endemic species, and mitigate invasive species effects in Maunakea’s subalpine environment.
Read more about Stever’s research on her website.