“TGIQ” is the internet alter-ego of Crystal Ernst. I earned a BSc (2003) and MSc (2005) in Biology, with emphasis on ecology and evolution. Between 2005 and 2010 I worked in the public sector for various federal agencies. The five year hiatus made me realize how much I really wanted to pursue an academic career. I was admitted to the The University* in January 2010, where I am now a very happy Entomology PhD candidate.
My current research interests include arthropod assemblages in northern Canada and functional ecology; I’m also very interested in science education and outreach. My earlier research involved plant-insect relationships in the context of biological invasions.
Although I have had an innate interest in natural history since childhood, my formal interest in entomology was sparked by an Introduction to Insects course taken as an undergraduate student. I have been learning about, observing, and collecting insects ever since. I have a preference (inordinate fondness?) for beetles; the aesthetic appeal of entomological work is almost as strong for me as the intellectual, and frankly I think beetles are pretty great to look at.
I identify as an entomologist, a community/population ecologist and a natural historian (and not necessarily in that order). My interests are very broad, and this will be reflected in my blog posts as tidbits of interesting natural history catch my attention. I generally write about the fauna and flora of my home turf in eastern Ontario (Canada), but expect to see posts from more northerly latitudes in the summer months during the field season.
I am also keenly interested in developing my skills as a teacher. Much of my past employment placed me in teaching roles, which I loved. I am currently a teaching assistant for undergraduate zoology and ecology labs, and look forward to properly lecturing one day.
And now for something completely different: Ten Random Things About TGIQ:
- Although I am now a social media nut, I was not on Facebook until December 2009
- I was once bit by a vampire bat
- I have a three-legged dog
- I seriously dislike spiders, except for jumping spiders (which are cute) and tarantulas (which are too big to be proper spiders) ***Edited: and crab spiders, which are just really quite lovely
- I once ran 21.1 km, all in one shot, and didn’t die
- My 12th grade Biology teacher told me I sucked at biology. Ha.
- My desk is buried under piles of papers…this either means I am creative, or a slob, depending which theory you ascribe to
- I think the
Darwin Fish is about the funniest thing going ***Edited: my Ento Fish has claimed the top honours here!)
- A tabby cat was the only witness at my wedding
- I am known to interrupt conversations with a cry of “BUG!!!” and a leap with cupped hands in the direction of some poor six-legged critter
Comments and questions are welcome. You can contact me at tgiq.ce at gmail dot com
* Since none of my thoughts or opinions are in any way affiliated with the university at which I study, I will refrain from including its proper name in any posts, if only to keep search engines out of my (albeit short) hair.