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Field Notes
Bugging Out
Photo by Jason Halstead [BPE/92]

Bugging Out

Kateryn Rochon
Items found in the office of Kateryn Rochon, assistant professor and resident tick expert in the department of entomology

No. 1 A caribou hide revealing holes made by the larvae of bot flies‚ which live in animals but eventually come out.

No. 2 A map of tick captures in the field.

No. 3 A tampered-with nametag she pulled out of her conference bag. “I still don’t know who put that there.”

No. 4 Her Tilley hat “that’s gone through every single adventure.”

No. 5 A gift from a colleague. “I took an entomology course because it fit my schedule—it sounded better than a fish course—and it changed my life. That’s where I learned fleas transmitted the plague. I thought‚ that’s so cool.”

No. 6 Tick samples. The smallest is the nymph (far right). “People who get Lyme disease often get it from the nymph—it’s the size of a poppy seed and they don’t even see it.”

No. 7 A teaching tool—the feather’s white dots are lice eggs. “You see birds and say‚ ‘Oh nature‚’ and all I see is flying bags of parasites.”

No. 8 Literature she inherited when another prof was cleaning out four decades worth of materials. “The title is just so interesting!”

No. 9 A vial with two slits on the lid‚ allowing her to quickly push the ticks in with her thumb. “We can catch 2‚000 in a day.”

No. 10 A bookmark made from the binding of Flykiller‚ given to her by retired U of M Prof. Terry Galloway [PhD/77]‚ her predecessor. “He started as a prof the year I was born. That’s really a lifetime of experience.”

No. 11 A fountain pen given to her at 12 by her father‚ a psychologist at a maximum-security prison who loved calligraphy. Now she collects hard-to-get Japanese ink colours. “I have a fountain pen fetish.”

No. 12 A wooden rose woven by a Grade 12 student from Powell River‚ B.C.‚ whom she mentored through the Verna J. Kirkness outreach program. “I try to give students the tools and then as much freedom as possible.”

No. 13 A nesting doll given to her by a PhD student from Russia who came to Canada with his wife and child in search of work. “I admire the courage that takes.”

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