Insectapalooza Returns to Campus After Two Year Hiatus

On Oct. 22, the Cornell Department of Entomology hosted Insectapalooza in Stocking Hall after postponing the event due to COVID restrictions.

It’s Good to Bee Back” was the apt theme for this year’s annual one-day insect festival, which returned this October after a two-year hiatus. The event was well-attended by both Ithaca locals and Cornell students and faculty and featured interactive booths and workshops aimed towards sharing the entomological sciences with the community.

CORNELL CLOSE-UPS | Cornell Ecologist Linda Rayor Discovers Passion Studying Spiders

“Never in my wildest dreams did I envision myself with a couple thousand spiders in my lab,” said senior lecturer Dr. Linda Rayor, entomology. As a behavioral ecologist, Rayor focuses on the interactions of group-living animals — currently spiders — and teaches an array of classes ranging from insect behavior to scientific outreach. Rayor said she decided to become a scientist at a very young age, but never foresaw a future working with insects and arachnids. As a child, Rayor said she remembers frequenting the Denver Zoo in Colorado, which she said helped kindle her interest in science, natural investigation and animals. Despite this, she said she chose to pursue molecular biology as an undergraduate at University of Colorado Boulder.