Entomologist Michelle Trautwein first felt the spark of science fascination when she was—of all things—an undergraduate art student. “I was just completely blown away by the beauty and diversity of insects,” she says, describing her first encounter in a college entomology class. That fascination, sharpened by years of exploring the natural world, prompted a surprising detour from art to dipterology (the study of flies).
In her role as a museum scientist, Trautwein engages people of all ages in the process of doing science. The life-changing “thrill of discovery” Trautwein first felt as a young art student remains a driving force in her career, inspiring her to mentor the next generation of entomologists and encourage international citizen scientists to become full-blown advocates for biodiversity.