New Year means new colleague Mary Sumner at Roslin Tech’s insect nucleus
Who doesn’t yearn for something new in the middle of a cold and miserable January? We’ve obviously got a New Year to look forward to, but at Roslin Tech we’re especially lucky to have taken on a new colleague working on our new venture in insect breeding.
We are delighted to welcome Mary Sumner who has joined our Insect team as entomologist and technician at our new nucleus unit. There she’ll be involved in key tasks related to husbandry of our black soldier flies, helping grow larvae to pupae and through to adulthood, where we collect their eggs to continue the cycle in our breeding programme. The project is part of our exciting work with Protenga and other clients, where we are looking to develop flies with attributes such as high protein and fat content, which can then be used in the production of animal feed.
While many of us shy away from dealing with insects, Mary has embraced the creatures from an early age; “I was always looking for insects under bushes,” she says. That enthusiasm led her to study zoology at Glasgow University, which led to a stint as a technician in her home town of Aberdeen, before gaining a scholarship for a Masters in entomology at Harper Adams University in Shropshire.
Her career thus far has included working in the laboratory of the UK’s Forest Research agency in Farnham, as well as being the chief research laboratory technician in an insect neuroethology lab at the University of Cambridge, a job which also took her to work in Minneapolis in the US.
And her interest in smaller animals extends outside of work – she’s a volunteer in the butterfly collection of the National Museum of Scotland. She’s also an avid folk singer and dancer.
We’re excited that she’s joined the team and we look forward to her contribution to our cutting-edge research into insects as food protein.