Ainsley Seago Ainsley Seago (Graduate student, from U.C. Berkeley)
My job on this expedition is to keep the blog and photos up to date, and to set pitfall traps for ground-dwelling beetles. This is the third time I've been to Chile.
For our main biodiversity survey project, I'll be collecting every beetle I can get my hands on. For my own thesis research, I'm hunting tiny, fungus- (and carrion-) eating beetles in the family Leiodidae. These guys are a very diverse but little-known group of beetles, and I am trying to figure out how their feeding habits have changed over time.
The best part of collecting for me is setting out carrion traps-- I buy some squid meat, let it get all gross and rotten, then hang it out in the forest in plastic buckets. Leiodids and other beetles can't get enough of the stinky carrion, so they fly right to the traps! It saves me lots of time, even though I have to get kind of squiddy-smelling. By the end of last year's expedition, our whole truck smelled like squid. Totally not my fault.