A third of the food we grow is either lost or wasted. Insects are a significant cause of this crop loss. This project focused on a major fruit pest in the United States: the plum curculio beetle (Conotrachelus nenuphar). This beetle is found everywhere east of the Rockies and loves to eat and lay eggs in apples, peaches, plums, cherries, and other fruits.

    In 2009 I visited about 14 sites in the midwestern U.S. in hopes of collecting specimens for genetic analysis. This map contains information about the dozen places where I did end up collecting plum curculio specimens. I collected 263 specimens in the end. It's a snapshot into what it's like to do fieldwork for evolutionary analysis in the United States.

    Explore the locations