Science AMA Series: I’m Chris Jones here to talk about the genetics of
‘high-flying insects’ and what drives the long-distance migrations of
some of our most important insect pests. AMA!
Hello Reddit! I’m Chris Jones, BBSRC Future Leader Fellow at Rothamsted
Research in the UK. At 14 I wanted to be a soccer player. At 32 I am not
a soccer player but instead spend my time attaching insects to pieces of
wire. How did this come to pass? Biologist? Molecular entomologist?
Molecular ecologist? It’s hard to know what box I tick. But what I do
know is that I am interested in researching the genetic basis of the
fascinating migrations of insects, and more specifically, insects of
agricultural importance. Every year billions of insects take to the
skies migrating vast distances to find suitable habitats in which to
breed. Forgoing food and reproduction, these journeys are arduous and
risky, but the rewards are high. These migrations are often
multi-generational - in other words - the offspring inherently know when
and where to go. But what is the genetic programme that drives this
behaviour? What are the genes involved? And how can we study this in the
lab? The goal of my research is to understand the ‘migratory gene
package’ in greater detail. So go ahead. Ask me anything. I will be back
at 4pm BST. In the meantime you are welcome to find out more about me
and my work in a blog entry I recently wrote for Rothamsted Research’s
‘A day in the life of a Research
series. I’ll be back at 11 am ET to answer your questions, ask me
anything! POST-AMA Hi all, it’s 6pm and time to catch what’s left of the
UK spring evening. Thanks for all your questions on insect migration.
Some really good questions. Thoroughly enjoyed it! Sorry I haven’t
answered everything. I will come back and answer a few more tomorrow. If
you are interested more in the work I/we do here in the Insect Migration
Group at Rothamsted then please find our contact info in the usual
places. Enjoy the rest of your Monday folks. All the best.