Laura Sullivan-Beckers

Sydni Anderson

A Murray State University biology professor has named a new insect species after her daughter, who helped make the discovery while they were planting flowers in their backyard. Sydni Anderson spoke with Laura Sullivan-Beckers and her five-year-old daughter Sylvie about the little green treehopper species they’ve named “Hebetica sylviae.”

Courtesy of Dr. Laura Sullivan Beckers

Humans aren't the only ones seeking warmth, food and shelter in the winter months. As it gets cold outside, you might find a few critters wander into your home with the same idea. There are tens of thousands of insects, arachnids and other classes and species in Kentucky, but Matt Markgraf visits the lab of Murray State assistant professor of biology Dr. Laura Sullivan Beckers to talk about some of the most common in west Kentucky that you might find in your home this time of year.

Dr. Laura Sullivan Beckers

More than a dozen spiders live in a second floor lab in Murray State University's biology building. MSU Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Laura Sullivan-Beckers studies the evolution of animal mating behaviors and works primarily with wolf spiders in her laboratory - many of which she caught outside.