Celebrated in art and literature over the centuries, dragonflies continue to fascinate people, and none more than Jessica Ware (GSNB-Entomology ’08). An assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the Rutgers-Newark College of Arts and Sciences, Jessica credits her Canadian upbringing for her passion for dragonflies.
“I thank my grandparents, Gwen and Harold Irons, for giving me my love of insects,” she said. “I lived with them every summer up at their lakefront house in northern Ontario and learned about insects through gardening, hiking in the brush, picking berries for pies, and seeing dragonflies land on the dock when swimming.”
During her undergraduate years at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, she had a work-study assignment in the lab of a professor who studies damselflies, an insect in the same order, Odonata, as dragonflies. Very quickly, a summertime fascination turned into a scientific calling.
She applied and was accepted at several graduate schools, including Rutgers Graduate School-New Brunswick in the Department of Entomology in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. She chose Rutgers for her Ph.D. over the others because of the faculty and the students “who were most welcoming during my orientation visits.” [Read more…]