Honoring Black Entomologists: Meet Shakara Maggitt

It is official! #BlackInEnto week is here, and you know what that means! It's time to shed light on the Black entomologists around the world that continue to defy norms, break down boundaries and pave the way for children of Color within the field of entomology. Entomology is a branch of zoology that focuses on the scientific study of insects. Last semester I took my first entomology class with Dr. Kennedy at the University of North Texas and by the end of the semester I had developed a love and respect for insects that will continue to inspire and influence my career. Unfortunately, I was the only Black student in the class, so it was a reminder that representation in entomology is essential in generating interest within the field amongst younger Black students. So this week, we honor the Black entomologists that serve as a reminder that nature [in all forms] is indeed for everyone.

Meet Shakara Maggitt

Growing up, I thought insects, spiders, and other arthropods were creepy but during my senior year as an animal science major at the University of Georgia, I took an entomology class as an elective. This class made me fall in love with bugs overnight and opened my eyes to the amazing world of arthropods especially insects. I graduated with a Bachelors’ degree in both entomology and animal science and this summer I will continue my education, pursuing a master’s degree in agricultural sciences at Texas State University where I will be researching black soldier flies (insects) in ruminants particularly cattle as an alternative to traditional livestock feed like corn and soy. By replacing corn and soy with insects, I want to see exactly how ruminal microbes ferment (digest) insects. Eventually, I want to continue my research (Ph.D.) to see if an insect-based diet can reduce methane production as well as how it will affect meat/milk quality.

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