Researcher studies insect brain models to make better repellants

Elizabeth Picture.jpg

Farmers use insecticides to keep insects away from their crops. But insecticides can be expensive and toxic, posing a risk to the environment and human health.

An alternative is to use natural repellents made from plants. These repellents have a smell that insects don’t like, so the insects stay away from things with that smell.

Elizabeth Bandason, a doctoral researcher in the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University, is interested in figuring out what’s going on in the brains and nervous systems of insects when they smell a repellent. Her research has the potential to provide a safe and affordable way to protect plants while keeping the environment safe from toxic insecticides.

Listen to the podcast here.

Photo: Elizabeth Bandason

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