Have You Met Rutgers-Newark?

Bugs Are Her Passion

It’s not often that an article in a scientific journal makes headlines in mainstream media such as the L.A Times and New York Magazine.

But that’s precisely what happened when insect biologist Jessica Ware and her Rutgers University-Newark colleague Dominic Evangelista published an article in the Journal of Economic Entomology in December 2013. The insect biologists had identified a cockroach species never before seen in the U.S. — in New York City of all places. The news exploded on the Web and then was picked up by numerous mainstream media, including Reuters, the L.A. Times, the BBC in England, the CBC in Canada, two German radio stations, New York Magazine, and  British newspapers.  The buggy discovery even was the subject if a joke on The Daily Show.  The intriguing tale is laid out in detail at http://www.newark.rutgers.edu/news/researchers-star-cockroach-odyssey-ages

Ware is an evolutionary biologist whose research focuses on the evolution of behavioral and physiological adaptations in insects. In 2012 she was selected as part of 1KITE, an international team of more than 50 scientists working to unravel the secrets of the evolutionary history of insects.  The 1KITE collaboration is studying insects because they are the most species-rich group of animals, and, explains Ware, are “economically and ecologically important organisms.”

Ware, who came to RU-Newark in 2010, teaches graduate level courses in evolution.