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Visionaries: Researcher helps crack cases and bring closure to families

Flies and maggots are not the first thing people think of when it comes to wearing jewelry. However, Krystal Hans, assistant professor of entomology/forensics, finds these creatures to be some of the best statement pieces when personalizing her daily attire. While recording and interviewing Hans, she always came styled with her outfits featuring a bug hair piece, necklace, or bracelet to match.

Hans’ passion for all things insects, hatched at an early age. While most of her friends were receiving furry or feathery pets, her allergies prohibited her from a similar experience, so instead she opted for less traditional animals. She recalls collecting insects and other arthropods to keep as pets. And while some parents may have tried to discourage that behavior, Hans’ mom was always extremely supportive.

Krystal Hans Krystal Hans, assistant professor of entomology/forensics, shows off her insect-themed earrings. Photo by Shelby Whitaker.
You may have also noticed in the photo Hans’ one-of-a-kind jewelry, representing the stages of a fly, larvae, pupae, and adult. The larvae earrings were hand-crafted by her mom, and the fly was a gift from one of her students. It is no secret: Hans loves bugs and even in her everyday style she always incorporates her passion in some way. This form of expression always puts a smile on her students’ faces and inspires a similar excitement for the science of entomology.

Related Blog and Video

Krystal Hans doesn't just crack cases, she also mentors students

Meet the Filmmaker/Blogger
Shelby Whitaker Shelby Whitaker, student filmmaker and blogger

Shelby Whitaker is a junior double-majoring in agricultural communication and agricultural sales and marketing. Originally, from Valparaiso, Indiana, she plans to pursue a career that focuses on digital marketing and advertising in the agricultural industry.


This blog and video are part of the Visionaries series, which highlights the work and lives of researchers in the Purdue University College of Agriculture. The content for this series is created by the students of ASEC 280 (Digital Storytelling).

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