Jasmine Janes, a Vancouver Island University biology professor, examines some of the insect specimens at the VIU Museum of Natural History. (Photo courtesy VIU)

VIU professor concerned about myths around insect apocalypse

Jasmine Janes’s work published in peer-reviewed journal BioScience

A Vancouver Island University teacher is preaching about the dangers of language used by news outlets in relation to the insect population.

Jasmine Janes, a VIU biology professor, along with colleagues from University of New England in Australia, recently wrote a scientific paper entitled Moving On from the Insect Apocalypse Narrative: Engaging with Evidence-Based Insect Conservation, which was published in Bioscience, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

The paper examines news reporting on insect declines based on a minute number of studies that deal only with regional insect populations and the harm it can do as well as actions needed to move forward to better understand the issue, according to a press release. Janes said there is evidence that populations are declining in some parts of the world, but may be increasing in others.

READ ALSO: New VIU president sworn in at Snuneymuxw Longhouse

“We’ve known for quite a while that the way you message things greatly impacts the audience,” Janes said in the press release. “There’s real concern that sensationalist language such as ‘instectaggedon’ desensitizes people and contributes to a sense of hopelessness with respect to conservation issues. We need to make people aware of the issue but we also need to make them understand that there is still hope and we can still make changes.”

Janes said that some studies contradicting the insect apocalypse narrative are not being reported on and such studies “illuminate the fact that scientists don’t know exactly how many species of insects there are worldwide.” More taxonomists (biologists who name, identify and classify species) are needed, she said in the press release.

More research is needed to better understand the behaviours of insects, intricacies of their population and boom and bust cycles, Janes said in the press release. When scientists have a better understanding of global insect biodiversity and decline levels it will help inform conservation methods and influence policy, she said.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo beekeepers take down nest of giant hornets

READ ALSO: Nanaimo restaurant owner shares his massive moth discovery

More from the News Bulletin on Facebook and Twitter

Just Posted

Don’t blame ride-hailing for increase in traffic, blame the personal car

Cities must move away from single-occupant cars, says transport advocate

VIDEO: Three men complete 65 km Sooke to Sidney run for Wounded Warriors

As main run looms, organizers looking to raise $175,000

Vancouver Island seniors get a kick out of ’walking soccer’

Provincial invitational tourney to be staged in Nanoose Bay

Bee business looks to new heights in Cumberland

Comox Valley community considering changes to encourage rooftop beekeeping

White magic in Black Creek: Wiccan church congregation seeing growth

North Island woman named high priestess of Aquarian Tabernacle Church of Canada

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Most Read