31: Bathed in Their Own Liquidy, Sugary Feces

Springtime is cicada time, and this year is a particularly big year for cicadas in much of the Great Lakes thanks to Brood X. In this episode, Stuart and Megan talk with Dr. Jessica Ware of the American Museum of Natural History about cicadas, their emergence, and their razor-sharp genitals. Plus, cicada sandwiches!

This is an automated transcript; we apologize for any errors. If you notice any problems, please email the show at teachmeaboutthegreatlakes@gmail.com. Thank you.

Stuart Carlton 0:00
teach me about the Great Lakes. Teach me about the Great Lakes. Welcome back to teach me about the Great Lakes a twice monthly podcast in which i Great Lakes novice as people are smarter and harder working than I am to teach me all about the Great Lakes. And I am super fired up this week for a bunch of reasons, most of which are related to the fact that my in laws are not here anymore. But some of which are related to the fact that we're here with Megan Gunn. Megan, how are you today?

Megan Gunn 0:25
I'm good, Stuart. How are you?

Stuart Carlton 0:27
Man? I'm good. Actually, the real reason I'm excited is because spring is coming. I mean, it's already here. We had a beautiful week of spring, if you remember. And then

Megan Gunn 0:36
we had snow

Stuart Carlton 0:38
twice last week, which it's really not supposed to do in late April. Like we're not supposed to celebrate Earth Day by, you know, like sledding. But there we are. Anyway, but so with spring, one of my favorite things that happens is the cicadas emerge coming up later in the spring. And and I've always been obsessed with these things because they look like aliens, like little tiny aliens, and they come out of the ground and they're really creepy, like exceptionally creepy. Anyway, we'll get into all this. But so we're going to talk about cicadas with someone who absolutely loves cicadas. And it was a ton about him. And it's not the Great Lakes easiest topic, but it's environmental. It's relevant. So I thought we'd do it. But first, Megan, I have an embarrassing thing to admit to I don't know if you've listened to our last episode,

Megan Gunn 1:27
I will not admit to whether or not I listened to the last episode. Fair enough.

Stuart Carlton 1:31
I will not admit to it either. But it turns out at some point the depths of the Great Lakes came up and I very confidently in front of not one but two people stated the Lake Michigan was the deepest of the Great Lakes. And well it turns out actually Lake Michigan is not the deepest of the Great Lakes. But that takes us to this leads greatly. factoid No, that takes us to this week's Great Lakes factoid it's about multiple legs. It's a great lakes factoid, a Great Lakes factoid it's a great factoid about the Great Lakes. So it turns out like Michigan is not the deepest Great Lakes if you're going by maximum depth. The deepest are the Great Lakes in order our superior Michigan Huron, Ontario, Erie, or, as I now remember it, smelly men helped ob salvus. Michigan, Huron, Ontario and Erie are the Great Lakes in order of depth. And that is this week's Great Lake factoid.

Megan Gunn 2:30
I guess second to top is not too bad. At least it wasn't like the last one. And you said it was a Davis?

Stuart Carlton 2:37
Yeah, when URI no depth at all? Very shallow lake anyway. Yeah. So who knows? Maybe I'll remember next time, maybe I won't. You know, I've lived here for like three and a half years, I probably shouldn't know the depths of the Great Lakes at this point. But I'm doing that. So we don't have to have a whole episode on it. So now we're just gonna do that. Instead, we're going to have an episode on cicadas and this is like a super fun year for cicada. So I'm excited to talk about it. But let's actually just jump straight into our guest. I said we're going to transition reasonably light. We're just going straight to the guest. Our guest I'm just so excited. I forget the music. We're good. Our guest this week is Dr. Jessica ware. And Jessica is the Associate Curator of Odonata. And non holo metabolism minor orders. She's the principal investigator of the Sackler Institute for comparative genomics assistant No, excuse me, Associate Professor of the Richard Gilder graduate school all at the American Museum of Natural History. Jessica, how are you?

Dr. Jessica Ware 3:34
I'm great. Thanks for having me. It's convinced you that potatoes are cool.

Stuart Carlton 3:38
I didn't say they weren't cool. I said they were creepy. Yeah, but So Jessica is a is in addition to being a I guess this would be an entomologist. She's also a cicada and not in a good way. She's a fanatic about cicada. So we're gonna get there. But Jessica, before we do, hold on, I can't even get through your title. So you're the Associate Curator of Odonata and non Hola. metabolise minor order. So Odonata that's like dragonflies, right?

Dr. Jessica Ware 4:03
Yeah, that's my special taxa dragonflies and damselflies. I also work on Vlado dia, which are termites and cockroaches. And both of those groups are members of this large assemblage. It's called non hola metabolomics. And they're called that because they're like, not something. So the whole metabolites are the insects that have complete metamorphosis. And if you've ever had like a hungry caterpillar, there's an egg and then a caterpillar and then a tube. And then a beautiful butterfly that told them the tablet's like, right, where you have a complete reorganization of the body parts between the larval stage and the adult stage. But the knothole of metabolism sucks, don't do that. So that includes things like praying mantis is dragonflies may fly some flies, grasshoppers, crickets, I mean, they're all non hola metabolites because they don't have this. This larval pupa adult stage just goes eggs, nymphs. The nymph visit often looks just like a smaller version of the adult and it's It's most until it's slightly larger, and then it's the adult side.

Stuart Carlton 5:04
Interesting. So, moving into cicadas, then they do undergo a transformation or they non holo metabolism and the way they do it too, I would guess. So if that's kind of your, your area of expertise.

Dr. Jessica Ware 5:15
Yeah, they're in the order Hanif, tres, and all of the semester and on hold on the tablets and six, so they're, they're true bugs. They're bugs. And they have a nymph that's underground. That looks different from the adult, because it has this other life. Right, because it's under underground. What

Megan Gunn 5:34
are they doing while they're underground?

Dr. Jessica Ware 5:37
Well, for both the annual cicadas and the periodical ones, they're living in being right so they're alive and they're they're drinking xylem from the roots of trees. And they are molting the ghost for periodical cicadas, I think they go through five different molds into adulthood, building up tissue and molting and growing and then emerging as an adult.

Stuart Carlton 6:03
That's very cool. Okay, so so they go through the nymph stage is basically entirely underground. Right? And then they emerge is that kind of how that works?

Dr. Jessica Ware 6:11
Yeah, for periodical cicadas and they're developing in the kind of soil and dirt around the roots of trees, which is where as a primary source, or they're imbibing the drinking xylem. And then when they go to a merge deck, so they have like, small spines on their, their four legs, and you can kind of see them sometimes they exhibit other shed skins, you know, still stuck in place, you know, attached to the bark. And it's neat, because you can actually see, sometimes even like, when insects shed their skins, then they they're the lining of their organs are kind of like ripped out because sometimes you can see these little white tails sticking out of the cake. Yes, no, it's cool. It's the coolest thing ever. Do you leave your lead lightning around?

Stuart Carlton 7:00
It's really good point. Like, that might be why I'm not cool. I thought it was. So you mentioned periodic cicadas, right? Those are ones that come out every you hear about this every 17 years, or however many years, like, first of all, are also caterers that way, or there's some that are just always hanging out. And then secondly, like what determines how long they stay under when they come back. So their

Dr. Jessica Ware 7:21
annual cicadas that emerge every year. And they don't get them the same press. I mean, even though they have an interesting life story, two wheels are calling to try and signal to females, et cetera, et cetera. But it's the periodical ones, I think that capture people's attention, because that every 13 years or every 17 years, then there's this kind of mass emergent, the cues for that emergent, usually, it has to do with temperature. So nymphs that are in their their final instar. When the soil reaches 64 degrees Fahrenheit, then there's a cue for them that signals them to emerge. And usually in these in these large numbers, you know, trillions of insects or whatever the numbers, are you shoveling them up off your driveway. And so then that's, I think that's just so spectacular that people talk about them more, even though they're, you know, there are many other species of cicada that are annuals that are that are out kind of every year,

Megan Gunn 8:19
I have a silly question. So the ones that come out every 13 or 17 years, do they just have a really long instar phase? Or are these are these ones like they're developing over and over and then they just all appear when the temperature is right.

Dr. Jessica Ware 8:33
So the ones that are underground for 13 or 17 years this they have five insights. But I think it's like the length of time period of each of those in SARS is longer obviously, what would be for an annual data.

Megan Gunn 8:46
So it's a long time to be underground.

Stuart Carlton 8:48
Yeah, that's a long time. You may see under there like, I mean, they have these BD grow size, like do they want to underground? They don't use those, I guess, right? Are those part of that are they not come out till they're an adult?

Dr. Jessica Ware 8:58
I think that there's not that much known about the nympho vision, like I don't know that anyone's ever looked at often pigments or things like that, for example, which is often the pigment that we look at, for insects for vision and their ability to see color. I think that what largely is understood is that while they're underground, consuming the silence, they're just basically in this little excavation, bathed in their own liquidity, sugary, fizzy, and they just are, you know, having these these biochemical cascades, these hormonal cascade that leads them to mold at these, you know, regimented times, until it's until either 13 or 17 years have passed, because there are stragglers that come out early. And those are so it's usually like roughly 13 or 17 years with these kinds of false false emergencies that kind of mental that earlier.

Megan Gunn 9:51
I feel like even recently that there was like a 17 year emergence. So does I feel like I have so many questions. Is there a Like a time period like, is it every 17 years we wait for another emergence? Or is it like every few years we have a 17 year emergence like 100 year floods 100 year floods don't wait until every 100 years to we don't get it just happens when it happens, especially more so recently.

Dr. Jessica Ware 10:17
Well, there's 12 foods that are 17 years, on 17 year cycles and reboots that aren't 13 year cycles. And so they're not all starting at the same time point. So pretty much every year or almost every year, you can go somewhere on the eastern part of the United States and see a brood emergence. I think people are excited about this particular breed emergence is happening this year is because this is a particularly large one. So some of the roots are really large and some of the groups are less large. And this brood which comprises three different species is like a really large one that says a larger so it's going to be loud and like very, very noticeable.

Megan Gunn 10:52
How many species of cicada are there?

Dr. Jessica Ware 10:55
I think there's over 3000 species, including the they're mostly annual cicadas pit is far far far far yours. Periodical cicadas

Stuart Carlton 11:06
so so when we happen have three coming on now. And this is if I'm not mistaken. You're gonna make me sad here, I think. Because you said that they're 12 and they're identified by numbers. Is that right? So this is the famous one is not going to be pronounced brood X. It's going to be pronounced brood. 10 isn't it? Yeah, the Roman numeral. Yeah, I was so excited. I saw brood X. And I was like, Yes. Like, but but so this is for 10. And so this is like one of the notably loud ones. It's emerging in a lot of places, but not everywhere. I guess. It's my understanding. Is that right? It's kind of a patchy distribution.

Dr. Jessica Ware 11:38
Yeah, I mean, many of the many of the brews are kind of patchy in the distribution, even in their vocal region, like it's going to be coming out of New Jersey, but it's kind of patchy where it is in New Jersey. But route 10 has a pretty wide range because it goes you know, as far south as you know, Knoxville, like eastern Tennessee, you know, West Virginia, Virginia, but then, you know, up to Indiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania. So it's going to be across this kind of squat, with concentrations in areas like Princeton, which is near where I live, Washington, DC, that for some parts will be very densely imagined, in terms of numbers and others will be a little bit more scraggly.

Stuart Carlton 12:15
And if you look online, and we'll put a link to the show notes, you can get like some maps of the distribution I think we should get through 10 here in West Lafayette this year, which is why I got fascinated by this whole deal. Because I hate sleep apparently. But is it because they're just so many of them that this is a louder Brutus or something about the specific species of cicada that makes them louder.

Dr. Jessica Ware 12:34
I think part of it is sheer numbers, sheer numbers leads to the volume. But these these particular frequencies are known to call it you know, 100 decibel or so. So let's just pretty low, let's be loud. And it's you know, thanks. Thank you evolution, right, hundreds of millions of years right of evolution has led this, this Oregon, this male, Oregon, to be able to allow them to make really long, loud calls and females listen to the song. The kind of rhythm and pattern tells us something about the species, it's calling them. The kind of volume and duration tells us something about the quality of male or sexual selection

Stuart Carlton 13:13
to ask them. No, I want to get into that. But But hold on, you said 100 decibels up to I assume that's you know, a peak but that's like, that's like motorcycle loud. I think

Dr. Jessica Ware 13:22
yeah, that cameras rock concert.

Stuart Carlton 13:26
cicadas are hazardous to your hearing. Oh, my goodness. So their

Megan Gunn 13:30
meetings are they're looking for mates. Um, that's what the the sound is that we're going to be hearing hope the

Stuart Carlton 13:36
sound is nothing actually meeting that would be underfoot podcast, but

Dr. Jessica Ware 13:41
one of them like of males trying to attract females and females make a noise to sort of start really annoying. It's like a wrestling fan where she will kind of like rub her wings against each other and make sort of a wrestling sound. But that loud. That noise that

Stuart Carlton 13:57
I see. And so is it the kind of thing is it? Like, the louder the, you know, the noise, the more attractive the male is? Or is it? We don't know? Yeah,

Dr. Jessica Ware 14:07
the volume. I mean, females are listening. So it's energetically expensive to make a loud long noise, especially in the warmest parts of the day. So presumably, those are some cues. You know, depending on what hypothesis, you believe it, maybe it's the sexy sons hypothesis where it makes it so that her sons will also be able to make that lab call and be chosen. Like there's lots of different ways you could kind of phrase it but yeah, that's the strategy. Presumably,

Stuart Carlton 14:33
the hypotheses in your field are a lot cooler than hypotheses Am I off to say

Dr. Jessica Ware 14:38
you have a sexy, sexy Lake 60 cents hypothesis.

Stuart Carlton 14:41

Megan Gunn 14:43
are they are they eating anything when they're above ground to re energize themselves? Or is it just everything that they've stored for the last 17 years that they're using?

Dr. Jessica Ware 14:52
Yes, what's the story because primarily their goal as the adult stage is to find a mate To lay the eggs, and then step that is

Stuart Carlton 15:03
not very long, right? Is it each like once they emerge? It's that a few weeks.

Dr. Jessica Ware 15:07
Yeah, it's a really short period of time. And then the females will make these little slits in the kind of twigs of the small branches of trees. And she'll lay eggs, and you can even see the little opposition scars. And then those eggs will hatch. And then then we'll kind of go up to the soil, and then burrow under.

Stuart Carlton 15:25
Oh, that's interesting. So how do they make the slip? So they have to like to teeth or they have little razor blade they carry? What's the deal?

Dr. Jessica Ware 15:32
Well, yeah, I mean, a lot of insects actually have their own personal blade in their genitals, which is their open closet or their egg laying apparatus. And it's used to make slits, or in dragonflies that lay their eggs. And in plants, for example, they also cover the whole material. It's a pretty useful tool. And it's been modified a bunch of times, including things like, you know, feeding singers, there, they're just a modified over positive.

Stuart Carlton 15:57
So behind the curtains here for you, Jessica. And for our listeners, what we do is like, we give ourselves a title based on, you know, something that guests says, and we'd like the title to be evocative. And it's gonna be hard to choose, like, so far what I've written down is eating their own liquidy sugary feces, usually get hot under the collar, or razor blade and their genitals. So it's all winning. Yeah, they're all they're all winners. That's really good. So you mentioned temperature as a driver, that actually makes me concern that I think about it. Is there. Is there a climate issue here? So I mean, like this spring, for example, we had a really warm couple of weeks, and now it's cold again. But you know, like, overall, things are getting warmer. So is there a climate concern with cicadas in terms of their emergent timing and breeding patterns and things like that are given?

Dr. Jessica Ware 16:45
Yeah, indeed, there is some concern. And in fact, the Chris Simon is a researcher at University of Connecticut. And she reached out for a piece of spring, actually, that was really terrific, specifically talking about that, and about how, you know, the prediction is that broods, the timing will, will kind of be off as temperatures get warmer for longer periods of time and earlier in the season. And there's some even suggestions that, you know, people have made that maybe because their teen years, cicadas tend to be further south, and 17 year cicadas tend to be further north. So it's possible that around 500,000 years ago, based on Simon's work, that when periodical cicadas first kind of diversified, that, you know, everything was 17. And then with, you know, warmer temperatures, things are now or we're in warmer temperatures, things 13 year, perhaps, you know, Chris surmises, maybe there'll be a nine years again, or something like that. So I think the number the this is definitely impacted by by temperature, and we can imagine in a future warmer world, that we might have different, different cycles for these foods.

Megan Gunn 17:54
So with that just mean, more cicadas, then it not? Like it doesn't sound like it's gonna kill them.

Stuart Carlton 18:01
Or maybe you're excited about this, just because?

Dr. Jessica Ware 18:04
Well, I mean, the strategy, the thing that's tricky is that part of the strategy that they're using is Association strategy, where, by emerging in such huge numbers of individuals, you know, presumably birds and your average cat or dog, take out quite a few of them, but hopefully, you make it to pass on your genes to the next generation. And with just stragglers here and there, you know, you're more vulnerable, and you're more visible to predators. So, you know, there's a, there should be selection, if, you know, presumably, this fixation strategy continues as their main mode of protection against predation. There should be selection on the timing to be, you know, pretty tight, but they also come out at the same time,

Stuart Carlton 18:50
but it's possible that it can be totally disrupted by a climate stuff, maybe not but but right, it's, Oh, geez. Well, there

Dr. Jessica Ware 18:56
were there were some of returned that emerged a couple of years, early, a couple of years ago. And they were, you know, picked up quickly. And what have you, we link

Stuart Carlton 19:06
a lot of times at our work slack to the picture of like, the Million Little Fish shaped like a big fish eating someone and it says organized and I won't get in the politics of that image, but it's the same idea, right? Yeah. Interesting. Okay, so So brute 10 Brute X, calm what you want. coming out soon. Maybe my time you hear this, may 3, maybe maybe a few weeks after that, and then it will be here to go away, and they'll be more broods. But, but so a lot of cool things about cicadas you've taught us including their entrails strewn about razor blade sex organs, and, you know, the liquidy sugary feces part. So that's all good. But are there any other cool cicada factoids Do you want to kind of tell us about?

Dr. Jessica Ware 19:50
Well, I mean, one thing that I always think is kind of interesting about about periodical cicadas. I'm from Canada and from Ontario, which is why I knew the Lake Superior was the deepest thing. By the way, big dumb I would have won that contest. But no, I mean, I didn't really care about them. And then when I moved to the United States, it's like this thing on the Eastern Seaboard. And so I wondered for a while, you know, how come I never learned about this? And maybe it's just not commonly No, no, it was just say, I'm a dummy. And I didn't learn about it. So when you look at the literature, people have been talking about these periodical cicadas, for a very long time, for as long as there have been European colonists people have been writing in their notes. But you know, First Nations, people that lived in the eastern part of the United States also has, you know, separate names for annual and periodical cicadas and routinely at a school that caters. So I just think it's kind of I liked the idea of thinking that just as we're kind of excited about Bruton coming out now, people have ever been excited about route 10 and didn't have it, maybe didn't call them those remember the Roman numerals. But they were excited about them coming because they're a source of food and, you know, a signal of, you know, it's a way to keep time, I suppose. 17 years past,

Megan Gunn 21:00
I hadn't thought about them being a food source. To Well, birds. Yeah, but I, it makes sense that humans would have eaten them too. If, I mean, they're there.

Dr. Jessica Ware 21:09
Yeah, I'm going to eat them for sure.

Stuart Carlton 21:12
That was actually my next question is heavier. Sounds like not yet. Well,

Dr. Jessica Ware 21:15
I've even the kid as before, but I'm not done like a proper cup of them. So this year, with a colleague who has an intimate baby kind of cooking expert, I think we're going to try and cook some different life stages. josephian from Brooklyn bugs, we're gonna really, you know, do a proper cook up and really eat them, right. So I'm really looking forward to it. You know, a human per se, I'm sure my dogs and cats are gonna eat them too. I mean, I mean, why wouldn't that's a perfectly good food source.

Stuart Carlton 21:45
So what is a proper cook up? If you don't mind my asking?

Dr. Jessica Ware 21:50
Season I wanted, you know, breakfast ate or something given like eat to

Stuart Carlton 21:53
it. Please.

Dr. Jessica Ware 21:57
I think I don't want I mean, I didn't know I've tasted, I wouldn't say you really eat them. But I've tasted dragonfly wings before and they're very crunchy. So I will take the wings off, I think and just really go for the body.

Stuart Carlton 22:10
That's actually fascinating. All the stuff that you're telling us about cicadas about Bruton about their lifecycle and all that. But But Jessica, that's actually not why we invited you here on teach me about the Great Lakes this week. The reason we invite you and teach you about the Great Lakes is to ask you these two questions, the first of which I am now scared to answer. The first one is if you could choose to have a great donut for breakfast or a great sandwich for lunch, which would you choose?

Dr. Jessica Ware 22:36
I would always choose sandwich because I don't have a sweet tooth. So I'm saying savory, for sure. I would go with a delicious sandwich that would sandwich anytime

Stuart Carlton 22:46
Dagwood sandwich anytime and I forgot to ask where you're located. I'm

Dr. Jessica Ware 22:50
in New Jersey, in the part of New Jersey that may or may not exist called central New Jersey that people debate about all the time. In this town. It's near near Princeton, it's a town called cranberry. Famous because in the Orson Welles broadcast of war of the world. This was the first time that the aliens annihilated was cranberry, New Jersey. And there's a plaque. There's a plaque in our town for it. So they go.

Stuart Carlton 23:14
Oh, there you go. Alright, well, next time I'm in central New Jersey and cranberry, which may be near where my mother grew up. I will Google that and figure it out. Anyway, next time I'm in cranberry, New Jersey. Where can I go to get a really great sandwich?

Dr. Jessica Ware 23:26
Well, so this is placebo, Crockett deli, I'm going to advertise these. This is a little deli called Crockett deli, which I was really unconvinced of. Because unassuming in a strip mall, kind of in five minutes from my house. But it's actually delicious. And everybody that goes there raves about it. And everybody talks about coffee deli so they have delicious sandwiches. Vegetarian, non vegetarian. It's delicious.

Stuart Carlton 23:53
And yes, I can confirm that cranberry New Jersey is near my mother's birthplace of Westfield, New Jersey. Oh, yeah. In fact, I'm sure the last time I went to the American Museum of Natural History was visiting my grandmother in Westfield, but it would have been in the 90s at this point, I think so.

Megan Gunn 24:10
Yeah. To come back and visit I have a related sandwich question. Would you eat a cicada sandwich?

Dr. Jessica Ware 24:17
I would I would eat any insects probably because they're so high in protein. There's no fat,

Stuart Carlton 24:22
no meat. It's always trying to get us to eat insects. I'm not in

Dr. Jessica Ware 24:25
there. But it's the wave of the future. The

Stuart Carlton 24:29
wave of the future. Yeah, well, I'm not I'm this way I'm happy to be completely unprogressive our director brought like a cricket candy bar. You know, it's like chocolate with a bunch of cricket meal in it and hold on. My daughter taught me I'm supposed to say this. It was not to my taste.

Dr. Jessica Ware 24:49
My son says I didn't care for it. That's what my senses I didn't I didn't care for it.

Stuart Carlton 24:53
How would you make right now if I'm gonna go out and catch a couple of these brute tenors and make a sandwich? What should I do? Like what should What do you think? Oh, no, it's okay to sandwich a sandwich.

Dr. Jessica Ware 25:04
Well, my colleague says that the periodical ones will hit us in general, it's very much like asparagus, he thinks that he's very green, because they're always just feeding on xylem. So maybe you could use it almost like a lettuce, you know, like, so I was I'm saying, I'm picturing a tuna or egg salad with some of this as kind of your lettuce, your crunch your French in the in the thing that would give it a bit of green space.

Stuart Carlton 25:29
So they're naturally crunchy, I wouldn't have to fry it or roasted or anything as far as you know.

Dr. Jessica Ware 25:33
Well, I like to cook. I mean, I have eaten insects before different kinds of insects. And I always like to give them a cook. Just because insects like anything else can have, you know, trematodes, or I just want to give them a little lucky before

Stuart Carlton 25:47
bugs in your bugs.

Dr. Jessica Ware 25:51
Just want to give them a little heat, and then pop them on my sandwich.

Stuart Carlton 25:54
So the second question is this, and oh, you can look your link in the show notes. And we'll have crocodilian linked up there. And I'll definitely check it out. So you're a museum curator and an entomologist. What is it that makes you good at that job? Like? What are some key skills for what you do?

Dr. Jessica Ware 26:10
Well, I think you have to be curious. So we have 23 million specimens of insects in our collection. And you could if you weren't a curious person, but most specimens are just sitting there, right? So you have to be kind of a curious person. And, you know, part of a big part of the job is doing research and asking questions and testing hypotheses about the evolutionary history of particular groups. And so being a museum curator, having all those specimens there, if you're creative, and you like asking questions and making discoveries is, it's a pretty great job.

Stuart Carlton 26:41
Well, Dr. Jessica, were Associate Curator of Odonata, non holo metabolism minor orders. And Associate Professor at the Richard Gilder graduate school at the American Museum of Natural History. Where can people go to find out more about your work?

Dr. Jessica Ware 26:55
You could look on my website, Jessica L where labs.com Or you could find me on social media, and on Twitter at Jessica l wear lab. And also on Instagram, just the cozy where 42 l e? Were 42? I don't know why 42. But I just always seem to add that to my handles. So if you want dragonfly photos on Instagram and research talk on Twitter.

Stuart Carlton 27:20
I do I definitely do. Great. Well, Jessica, thank you so much for coming on and teaching us all about the Great Lakes. Thanks for having me.

Megan Gunn 27:43
Don't think I've ever seen you make so many faces? But I was feeling the same way? Yeah.

Stuart Carlton 27:52
Well, I mean, bugs are just terrifying. And these things are I mean, have you seen them when they crawl out of the ground like right before? You know before they finish morphing or whatever. They're just tearing Oh,

Megan Gunn 28:02
that's that was one of the things that I was thinking about. I remember hearing them growing up. And I remember seeing their exoskeletons on trees. And I had one on the trash can a few years ago, but I've never seen them emerge.

Stuart Carlton 28:16
It's like little aliens. It's like they're from another world. Yeah, I'll see about I never did grown up. We had them in New Orleans. I know. Because we used to see the shells like on trees, I should say, I don't know what ones are down there. That must be like a 13 year ones or whatever. Yeah, but about three a year. I'll see here just walking across the sidewalk and they creep and they really do they look like the bad guys in Doom or some video not that I play video games, but I think that's a video game where they had like Alien bad guys. Anyway, I'll assume it is. And that's what they look like. And yeah, it's like legit terrifying, because they do look like alien creatures that have invaded. And you just wonder what their powers are. Right? And you know, Jessica played to cool but wonder what their powers are. So Megan, where can people go to find out more about the work that you do? Oh, no, hold on. Before you get there. Everybody looked down right now at your podcast player. And you should hopefully maybe see our brand new artwork that we have. So nice. It's so nice. Our friend and designer Joel Devonport. worked with us to get that done. And it's super fun. It sticks out. It's fun. It's there's a couple little things. If you dig deep, you can find that are buried little easter eggs in there. And it's appropriately kind of overwrought for the TV unit for this show. It's like just a bunch of stuff in there. It's like jam it all in there working out in the end.

Megan Gunn 29:30
I really enjoyed looking for the Easter eggs. Yes. So Thank

Stuart Carlton 29:33
you Joel for that. And yeah, thanks everybody. Or yeah, thank you, Joe for that. That's all I'm saying. So now Meghan, where can people go to find out more about the work that you're doing?

Megan Gunn 29:45
People can find me on Instagram at the familiar faces project. And then on Twitter at underscore t f f p

Stuart Carlton 29:55
There you go. And you can find out more about the work that we do at Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and I I see grant.org Or on many social medias at i l i n Sea Grant. And with that, thank you for listening everybody stay safe out there. The spring is coming get vaccinated. Go get vaccinated. Have you been vaccinated?

Megan Gunn 30:12
Yes. i Yes, sir. Today, today's Monday. Today was my last of my second shot like waiting period. Oh,

Stuart Carlton 30:21
oh, oh, so this is like yeah, Wednesday is for me. And then I'll be looking flagpoles and I don't even know what else but I'll be out there. Go do it. Just do it. It's not hard I mean, it you know, you get to that arm but you know what you don't get COVID So take a look that arm no big deal. Take it out for you. Is it an excuse? It's all good. Yeah. Anyway, in between now and then go get vaccinated if you haven't been and thanks for listening. Keep great nose lakes, baby.

Creators and Guests

Stuart Carlton
Stuart Carlton
Stuart Carlton is the Assistant Director of the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program. He manages the day-to-day operation of IISG and works with the IISG Director and staff to coordinate all aspects of the program. He is also a Research Assistant Professor and head of the Coastal and Great Lakes Social Science Lab in the Department of Forestry & Natural Resources at Purdue, where he and his students research the relationship between knowledge, values, trust, and behavior in complex or controversial environmental systems.