Murray State University biology professor discovers new insect species with help from her 5-year-old

Updated: Jun. 27, 2019 at 6:37 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A Murray State University biology professor named a new insect species after her daughter who helped make the discovery.

Dr. Laura Sullivan-Beckers said her daughter, Sylvie, found the new species of treehoppers while they were planting flowers in their garden back in 2016.

“I still can’t believe that these undiscovered treehoppers were essentially in my own backyard. What’s even crazier is that I never would have found them had it not been for the wasps delivering them to my flower bed and my daughter over watering it. It’s true that science involves luck and serendipity. I was at the right place at the right time with the perfect field assistant.” Sullivan-Beckers said.

The biology professor is now working with the Department of Agriculture to learn more about this species of treehoppers and publish information about them.

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