Meet some of the people featured in the February 2013 issue of The Scientist.
Aaron Dossey first combined his two passionsâ€”insects and chemistryâ€”in his final year of graduate school in 2006, when the University of Florida, Gainesville, had just bought a new nuclear magnetic resonance probe. Dossey brought in several insect specimens he had been keeping at home, and extracted chemical compounds to test the new device. Although his academic research career had focused on biochemistry, in his spare time he had become a self-taught entomologist. “I think insects are fascinating: they’re neat to look at and there are so many unique life history and biochemical stories,” Dossey says. After a biochemistry postdoc position, also at the University of Florida, he made the full switch to entomology in 2010 as a postdoc with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). While studying citrus pests, Dossey became ever more enthralled with the world of insects. Heeding a call for grant applications from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he turned his attention to making sustainable foods from insects. After winning the grant, Dossey set up his own business, All Things Bugs, and has so far used insect protein to create taco meat, protein bars, and a paste to treat malnutrition. To find out more about how insect-based food can contribute to global food security, read his story “Why Insects Should Be in Your Diet.”