VIU Undergraduate Student Publishes Research Paper in Refereed Journal | News | Vancouver Island University
Genevieve van der Voort was the lead author of the published research – a rare achievement for an undergraduate student.
Genevieve van der Voort is a graduate of Vancouver Island University (VIU) with a significant achievement under her belt – she is the lead author of a research article published in The Canadian Entomologist.
“I haven’t quite figured out the head yet,” said the Biology major, who graduated in June. âI am very passionate about insect research so being able to contribute and share what I have found with others is very exciting. “
The Canadian Entomologist publishes research papers and notes from entomologists and biologists around the world. Van der Voort’s note paper was co-authored by Dr. Jasmine Janes, professor of biology at the UIV, and Dr. Manu Saunders of the University of New England. The work is part of the larger framework of Janes’ long-term research project on the eco-evolutionary process of marsh orchids.
“Few undergraduates can be co-authors of papers, let alone lead authors, as opportunities for research experiences like this are often reserved for graduate students,” says Janes. “This work is impressive, not only for its scientific merits, but because it means that GeneviÃ¨ve went above and beyond the expectations of a typical undergraduate research project – she did the fieldwork, the analysis and writing this article. “
The research paper – Pot trapping in habitats supporting Platanthera (Orchidaceae) shows little difference in diversity at the insect family level – highlights the use of pot traps of different colors. Pot traps are small, colorful bowls filled with soapy water that are used to catch insects. Van der Voort’s study used eight traps of different colors to sample the diversity of insects in the habitats supporting Platenthera, commonly known as marsh orchids, on Vancouver Island. The yellow traps captured the most number of insects, but she found that there was no statistical difference between the colors overall. The study also provides important baseline data on the diversity and behavior of insect communities in orchid habitats on the island.
Van der Voort’s accomplishments go beyond being the lead author of a scientific journal – she is also a 2020 VIU recipient REACH price, an award given to undergraduate students for completing an independent research project, and a recipient a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA).
âDoing research has helped me determine what topics I would like to continue my research on after graduation. I really enjoyed learning about insects and their relationship to plants in the courses I had taken earlier in my studies and being able to use the information I learned in one year or semester projects was very rewarding, âexplains van der Voort. âI hope to graduate to my Master of Science in the future, working on plants and insects. “
Janes says the USRA is highly competitively priced that supports undergraduate research experiences. Over the past few months, she has witnessed van der Voort’s dedication and passion for research.
âGenevieve has a fantastic attitude – she shows great attention to detail and initiative and has really demonstrated an ability to relate complex topics from multiple areas of biology,â says Janes. âIt was really inspiring to watch her grow as a person and a researcher. “
Join van der Voort and over 2,500 other VIU alumni celebrating their achievements at the virtual conference Graduation celebration June 24.
Rachel Stern, Communications Officer, University of Vancouver Island