When a pesky fruit fly flits about your kitchen, it might be difficult to marvel at the insect as a piece of an evolutionary puzzle hundreds of millions of years in the making. But that’s not the case for Michelle Trautwein at the California Academy of Sciences. She specializes in Diptera
—or flies—and was one of 100 researchers to work on a multinational study
examining insect evolution, published in Science
this week. Trautwein discusses new insight into when the first winged insects might have appeared on earth and other findings from the study.