The favorite thing I’ve ever done at somebody else’s college was visit the spider lab at Cornell University – two rooms full of spiders in various fish tanks (except for one that had escaped and built a web next to the refrigerator, where students fed it daily). So I’m always psyched to learn about the “bug lab” at any university.
Hence my pleasure at a NHPR story about research at University of New Hampshire concerning communication among insects using vibrations that have to be visualized with lasers instead of heard:
“What we’ve discovered is that there’s a whole world of communication taking place that we’ve been entirely unaware of,” says Dan Howard, a professor of biology at UNH who oversees this research. He says there are a lot of firsts happening in this field of vibrational animal communication right now, in large part because the lasers that are required to listen in have only recently become affordable for most labs.
You can listen, or read the transcript, here.