Quincy University’s Dr. Joseph R. Coelho, professor of biology, recently published a paper in the discipline of cultural entomology.  Entitled “Insects in Fireworks,” the study examines fireworks with entomological names to see how insects are represented.

Most fireworks examined depicted a swarm of insects on their packaging, and photorealistic images were common.  The similarities between fireworks and other entertainment media in terms of how insects are used was remarkable, suggesting a unified cultural perception of insects.  As is common, many negative values were reinforced.

The paper was published in Ethnoentomology, an international peer-reviewed open access journal that publishes contributions on all aspects of the history of entomology, historical biogeography and influences of insects in human cultures across the globe. Read the paper HERE. Videos of the fireworks can be observed on YouTube.

Dr. Joseph R. Coelho obtained a B.S. in Biology from the University of California at Riverside and a Ph.D. 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, especially solitary wasps, and also includes studies in 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.

Founded in 1860 by Franciscan friars, Quincy University (www.quincy.edu) is a Catholic, co-educational, residential university offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult education programs that integrate liberal arts, active learning, practical experience, and Franciscan values. Quincy University’s intercollegiate sports are members of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference for men and women. For more information, please contact the Quincy University Office of Community Relations by calling (217) 228-5275.