Students in Dr. Adrienne Brundage’s honors medical entomology class (ENTO 423) have been working to make medical entomology research and concepts easier for the public to read as the class recently released its inaugural online journal.
The journal, called “Bugs Decoded at Texas A&M,” was published as way for her students to provide an informational tool for the general public to learn about medical entomology topics and to help them learn more about the journal writing process.
Brundage started the project as a way to help her students learn how to translate the high-level research from scientific publications into something that can be easily understood by the general public.
“I wanted to give them a platform where they had to “translate”, so to speak, some newly published papers so that the general public could understand, regardless of if the reader is a Ph.D. in entomology or not. This website was the result of that idea,” Brundage said.
Brundage said that her students were in charge of selecting the articles and working the final peer reviews where they were graded on their accuracy and quality of their work.
“I want them to have ownership, so I don’t step in until the end of the semester,” Brundage said. “It’s up to the students to make sure everything is good to go. It’s really fun to watch what they come up with.”
The first edition covers topics such as dengue fever, house flies, and Leishmaniasis transmission via a vector called the sand fly. There also were a few articles that were reviewed by some of the students featured as well, including a study on Lyme disease in Minnesota, a review of the potential distribution of mosquito vector species that vector malaria in a primary endemic region of Columbia, and in Sri Lanka, and an article on the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.
The journal also featured a special links section related to entomology and insects, and relevant videos on entomology and medical entomology.
Brundage sees the journal expanding in future issues to include what they have learned at the various professional entomology conferences held annually.
“Each semester I will have the honors students work on this project, and they will each have to add an article or two on current events in entomology,” Brundage said. “I may also have students attending various entomological conferences write up articles about the most interesting discoveries presented at those conferences.”
The journal can be found at https://www.instars.science/