Profile PictureJoseph R. Coelho, Ph.D., professor of biology at Quincy University, recently authored a paper entitled “Sex, Bugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll: Insects in Music Videos”.

Insect music videos are becoming increasingly common, using insects in a variety of ways including, large numbers of insects, insects with human features, or giant insects in either animation form, live footage, or photographs. The study examines music videos on YouTube for insect content. The study found that the most common insects seen in music videos were butterflies and moths.  The study’s data indicates by the types of insects shown, the themes represented, and the success of insect music videos that human attitudes toward insects are trending toward more positive values, especially relative to those in early horror films, which were exclusively designed to convey horror.

“It was one of the most fun papers I have had the pleasure to research and write in my 30-year career in science. My students in last fall’s entomology class were able to contribute as well by searching YouTube for videos likely to contain insects,” said Coelho.

The paper was published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Insects in a special issue entitled Cultural Entomology: Our Love-hate Relationship with Insects. Coelho is serving as Guest Editor of the volume. The paper is available at

Coelho obtained a bachelor’s of science degree in biology from the University of California at Riverside and a doctorate in environmental, population and organismic biology from the University of Colorado. He came to Quincy University in 2004. His research primarily focuses on the physiological ecology of insects, solitary wasps in particular. He also studies cultural entomology, such as insects in music.  He teaches all of the field courses, including Ecology, Environmental Science, Entomology, Plant Field Biology and Vertebrate Field Biology.

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