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Making New Discoveries

Posted on December 3, 2017 by in The OFI Blog

Hillary collects samples while conducting research.

Hillary Morin Peterson, currently working towards a doctorate in entomology at Pennsylvania State University, discovered a new species of wasp. She made the discovery while she was an undergraduate at the University of Maine while conducting research for her honor thesis with the Maine Forest Service in the Summer of 2014. However, she did not realize that she had discovered a new insect until 2015 while interning at the Smithsonian Institution.

Hillary was offered an internship with the Smithsonian Institution after attending the 2015 BioBlitz at Acadia National Park with faculty from the University of Maine. During her internship, she was able to look at samples that she had taken during her research and, with the help of a colleague who is an expert in wasps, identified that she had found a species of wasp that had never been seen before. The new species has been named the non-stinging Ormocerus Dirigoius. Hillary’s discovery was announced in November of 2017.

You can read more about Hilliary’s discovery here.