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Current studies of tropical insect biodiversity, life histories and behavior build on nearly 100 years of background work by entomologists like William Morton Wheeler and Ray Schnierla, who studied ants here in the 1920s and Terry Erwin, who made the first estimate of world insect biodiversity in 1982. Entomology at STRI continues to be strongly field and natural history based. Access to the highly biodiverse insect fauna of the region as well as our Heliconius insectaria in Gamboa, genomics/molecular lab, canopy access cranes, neurobiology lab and chemical ecology equipment at Panama’s government labs at INDICASAT create unique opportunities to study insect behavior, ecology and evolution.

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