It’s a bit of a ghost town here on the NC State campus. The Class of 2012 walked across the graduation stage just a little over a week ago, and most of the undergraduates have cleared out for the summer. Late May is always a time for transitions and new beginnings on a college campus.

And so it is for the Your Wild Life team. We wanted to take a few moments to say thanks and wish bon voyage to a handful of team members who’ve worked so hard out front and behind the scenes to make our programs hum successfully over the last couple years.

We bid adieu to:

Dr. Andrea Lucky, ant guru and leader of the School of Ants citizen science project. She’ll continue to lead School of Ants, just from a more southerly location in the Department of Entomology & Nematology at the University of Florida. School of Ants will continue to maintain active ‘colonies’ at both NCSU and UFL




Dr. Jiri Hulcr, chief navel gazer for the Belly Button Biodiversity project. Jiri’s moved on to a faculty position in the School of Forest Resources and Conservation at the University of Florida, where he’ll continue his research on ambrosia beetles, their fungal and bacterial symbionts. The Your Wild Life team at NCSU will spend much of their summer plowing through the backlog of belly button samples in the freezer – we look forward to reporting out results to all of our participants soon!



Nina Rountree, NCSU student and research technician. Nina extracted, amplified and prepared DNA for sequencing for our belly button and home microbiome projects.  She was a wizard at the bench and kept us all organized. We wish Nina the best as she embarks on her new career in biotech research!




Hayley Stansell, NCSU student and research technician. In addition to coordinating logistics for the Wild Life of Our Homes and Belly Button Biodiversity, Hayley is a talented artist and designed a number of eye-catching graphics and posters for our outreach work. We wish Hayley the adventure of a lifetime during her upcoming travels through southeast Asia!



Katlin Mooneyham, NCSU student and research technician. Katlin quickly brought herself up to speed on the biology and ecology of camel crickets to engage new participants and coordinate reports for the Camel Cricket Census. She’s also helped keep the Wild Life of Our Homes organized. We wish Katlin the best as she pursues her Master’s Degree in Entomology at Virginia Tech!




Justin Hills, NCSU student and research technician. This is just a so-long-for-the-summer to Justin. He’s taking a break from working on our citizen science projects to go to Ghana to do research on liver cancer

[Check out this great Student Perspective feature on Justin]. We wish him well and look forward to his return in the fall!



So many good-bye’s for now… rest assured, we’ll have quite a few hello’s to announce very soon!