Today marks the second day of #BlackInEnto week. Today leads me to think about my young cousin that had a deep interest in insects at a young age, but his mother would often deter his behavior with comments like "that's gross" or "don't bring that bug in my house." As he grew older his interest in insects never swayed, but his desire to pursue a career in insects did. Up until a few years ago, I didn't even realize the number of careers that encompass entomology. I am assuming, neither did he. When I pressured him to again attempt to pursue a career that interests him, he simply said "I don't think I'd look right doing that." A lack of representation in entomological fields as he was growing up left him feeling as though he wouldn't "look right" in a particular line of work. This is why representation matters, especially for children of Color in America.
Today I am honored to present Mr. Gavin Campbell. His website delineates the work he does every day [along with his travels] as he continues to provide representation for future Black entomologists. I often wonder how my young cousin's life would be different, had he saw men like Mr. Campbell working in the entomological field and how this type of representation would've honed and protected his interests.
Meet Gavin Campbell
My name is Gavin Campbell. I am a researcher from Jamaica studying temporary pools: those are small pools that have water at one time of the year and are dry at another time of the year. I look at the insects that are there, how they interact and what they do to keep the water clean and safe. I also look at how many mosquitoes some insects can eat, so we can have fewer mosquitoes biting us. Ever since I was young I really liked insects and would even try to raise bees in my home. Insects were always interesting to me because they had so many shapes, colours, sizes, and special skills. I went on to study Biology to learn more about them. Now I’m looking to see what benefits they provide to us that we aren’t even aware of yet.
Check out Gavin's website: https://www.dragoninflight.com/