Oops, all hornets!

Today, while deploying emergence traps, we avenged our recently stung colleague (Ellysa Johnson). One of our randomly selected points was directly upon a hornets nest (a few are seen in this photo, but tens were present and buzzing furiously). Miraculously, neither of the crew members present were stung. Let this day mark our revenge.

Also we did demo.

Hidey holes and hymenopteran houses

Grass so high
Our vision fails
Of flags off hiding
Who knows where

Holes for hiding
Insects who
Like their grasses
Tall and true

Today we helped dig soil cores for a “pitfall trap” project. The holes were dug near our ENRTF insect collection points and will grant greater insight on how burning prairies can affect insect population composition. The grass was pretty high, though, and we could hardly see the flags that had been placed earlier in the season! Rest assured, the holes were dug.

Also we did emergence traps. We always do emergence traps.

Also Daytona’s pockets are sweaty.

Photosynthesis, planting, and points.

Lots of tasks today, one of which was sampling the amount of light available along some of our transects using a light meter!

These transects are part of our seeding experiment, and we added some lovely markers to help us spot some sprouting echinacea!

We also continued to establish new points for our upcoming emergence trap work and we saw several friends along the way.

Outreach day at the park!

Around 80 8th grade students from Morris Junior High came by and learned about tools used in prescribed burns, plant identification, how to develop hypotheses, and methods for finding and trapping native bees!


Other members of the team established points for our ENRTF-funded pollinator project, a rare species (Teeny catus) was spotted at the Hjelm House, and we all had watermelon at the end of the day to cool off.

Luke Settles

Pollinator Team, Echinacea Project 2023

B.S. Biology, Ecology Concentration, Illinois College, 2023

Pronouns: he/him

Research Interests

I’d like to pursue more research in pollinator-plant interactions and how the environment can affect pollinator behavior. I’m interested in conservation ecology and I’m excited to study how fire might affect bee nesting this summer.


I grew up in Texas, but luckily escaped and lived in Illinois for college. I became really interested in entomology and conservation while working closely alongside my professors, and I hope to dive into this intersecting field more in the future!

In my spare time I like to read, draw/paint, watch movies, listen to a ton of music, and go camping.