Thursday, July 5, 2018

Reynolds Professor and Graduate Team Up For Dragonfly Research

Reynolds Community College biology professor Dr. Richard Groover and Reynolds graduate Donald Cooper (May 2018) have teamed up to work on two of Groover’s summer ecology and business discipline research projects.  

Cooper catching dragonflies
One project involves the Hollows Golf Course in Hanover County. Groover and Cooper will research the effects of lake shore management to entice dragonfly abundance and variety by cutting less of the water’s edge vegetation. Groover states this will save the golf course the expense of hand trimming along the 12 acre lake, while an additional benefit for the golf course will be more dragonflies to eat mosquitoes that might bother the gofers. “The Hollows Research data will statistically support the outcome of more dragonflies due to this management practice,” added Groover.

The second project involves Groover’s three-year study of dragonflies at four of the National Park Battlefields in eastern Hanover. This study is supported by the National Park Service. In addition to making a record of all dragonflies residing in these park sites, Groover and Cooper are looking at the biodiversity of dragonflies on these protected lands with additional consideration of economic aspects.

Cooper recording data on dragonflies
"Working with Dr. Groover has been an illuminating experience with how I conduct research,” said Cooper. “I have always had an interdisciplinary approach to thinking and learning, so when I asked Dr. Groover if we could in some way tie economics to his study of Dragonflies, I was excited to hear that he had some ideas for us. It's even more exciting that our findings, through the support of collected data, may help a lot of people in the near future.”

Cooper completed his studies at Reynolds and has been accepted at the University of Virginia for the 2018 fall semester. He is a recipient of the Valley Proteins Summer Stipend program and was also a Coca-Cola Bronze Scholar and was in the Honors program while at Reynolds.

Groover’s research is partially funded by a Small Project Grant from the Virginia Academy of Science.