Simplified Identification of Insects using Software Tools and Digital Photography

Identification of insect prey is essential for understanding the foraging behaviours of insectivorous bat and bird predators. The intern will develop software tools that will aid a skilled entomologist with the rapid identification of insects from photographs taken from field collecting sites. The proposed tools will facilitate the identification of photographed insects to order/suborder and, in certain groups, possibly superfamily or family and will streamline the cataloging of insect inventories and the inclusion of metadata such as geographic location, collection time, number of specimens in a sample, etc. The resulting data could be used to in the analysis of predator activity at the collecting site which could be useful in reducing mortality and thereby improve conservation of species in industrial locations such as wind farms. The partner organization will benefit from this project by being provided a functional and useful identification tool to use in future projects requiring basic ID of insects from photographs, as well as the analysis of the provided insect images for the software tool development.

Ryan Chlebak
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Jeff Dawson
Project Year: