Mount St. Joseph University

Insect Collecting Enthusiast, Credits Her Mount Professor and Undergrad Research

Behavioral and Natural Sciences, Biology, Alumni

File Under: department of biology, outcomes

Michelle Duennes ‘08

Currently focusing on her research on the evolution of montane bumblebees in Mexico and Central America, Michelle Duennes credits her passionate and dedicated professors to where she is now. One of these professors is Gene Kritsky, Ph.D. from the Department of Biology.

“He is the reason I have a master’s in entomology and I’m pursuing a Ph.D. in the same field,” Michelle says.

Where the Interest Began

“Before I even took an entomology course from Dr. Kritsky, I had decided I wanted to be an entomologist,” she says. When Michelle was a freshman, Dr. Kritsky let her join on an Entomology course collecting trip. Then, after falling in love with insect collecting she began starting her own collection.

Michelle says the intensity of her undergraduate classes, including the research she conducted, ignited her passion for evolution and evolution education which prepared her for graduate school.

“My undergraduate research project and the survey I conducted with Dr. Kritsky was really the stepping stone that led me to pursue a graduate degree involving research,” she says. “That experience taught me how to practically use the scientific method to answer questions as well as generate them, and how to communicate my research to the public.”