Honoring Black Entomologists: Meet Johanna Schwartz

As #BlackInEnto week comes to an end, the hard work and dedication of these Black entomologists continue to inspire and motivate children of color. As a child, not seeing Black professionals in these types of positions nearly deterred me from pursuing my passion. I spent three years in nursing school before I realized that I was in the wrong field. Representation within these unique fields is not only imperative to the advancement of innovation and scientific ideas, but it is a beacon of light for future Black scientists to follow, reminding them that they are not alone in their interests.

Meet Johanna Schwartz

Hi! I’m Johanna Schwartz, and I’m an Ohio State graduate student studying wasp diversity. Specifically, I’m interested in why there are so many wasps. Although we don’t know the exact number of wasp species, it’s likely that there are more wasps than any other type of insect! I’ve been interested in insects since I was little! I was always outside and collecting and observing any bugs that I could find. As an undergraduate, I studied entomology and found an appreciation for the incredible diversity of wasps. My research is focused on parasitoid wasps. Parasitoids are typically less than 5 mm in length, so I spend my time at the Museum of Biological Diversity at Ohio State looking at these wasps under the microscope. Many of them are not known to science and need to be described as new species.

One of the wasps that Johanna Schwartz is describing.

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