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UH Scientists Mapping a Food Web Dominated by Insects Atop Mauna Kea

Brad Maunakea UH Rubinoff.jpg
Insect Systematics And Biodiversity Lab

New research out of the Rubinoff Lab at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is taking a look at all the crawly critters on top of Mauna Kea — and what’s on the menu in this extreme environment.

Graduate student Brad Reil heads the project under the supervision of UH entomologist Dan Rubinoff. The Conversation’s Savannah Harriman-Pote spoke with both of them about their new project to map the food web atop Mauna Kea, a harsh ecosystem in which only bugs and spiders manage to survive.

"It's a really hard place to live and even if you don't like creepy crawlies like spiders, you have to respect the evolutionary accomplishment they've made to survive in such a harsh environment," Rubinoff said.

This segment aired on The Conversation on June 24, 2021.

Savannah Harriman-Pote is a producer for The Conversation and Manu Minute. Contact her at
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