Charlotte LR Payne
Trying to find some gusanos blancos..Photo credit: Luis Patron
My research focuses on edible insects.
I began to think about insects as a food that might have been important in shaping human evolution, as every known primate eats insects. I soon discovered their more immediate relevance: Today, insects remain a popular food with human societies worldwide; and there is also evidence that they were eaten by our relatively recent non-human ancestors.
And I got increasingly excited by the idea that insects could also be an important food in the future, particularly as a source of protein and micronutrients that is less harmful to the environment than conventional livestock.
I’m currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, and I'm looking at the potential of edible insects to meet the current need for a protein source that is both healthy and sustainable.
For the past three years I’ve worked in central rural Japan, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Oaxaca, Mexico. My PhD research is based in Southwestern Burkina Faso, where I'm investigating some very exciting edible caterpillars. If you’re interested in insect consumption in all or any of these places, please take a look at my research pages, and contact me if you've any questions.
I write a blog about my current work in English and (sometimes) Japanese.
(I should probably clarify something else here! Liberty and Ruth are nothing to do with insects, they're just my middle names.)
Giant hornets, fresh from the nest
Feeding bait to a social wasp ('hebo)