The Insect Breeding Institute, Cambridge
Welcome to the Insect Breeding Institute (IBI), the replacement for the Plant Breeding Institute which was in existence in the fields around Trumpington, Cambridge from 1912 to 1987, a national agency developing modern agro-industrial crops and farming methods, including the use of pesticides.
In 2019 the new Insect Breeding Institute set up the School of Insects at Trumpington Park Primary School. From an initial Hijutsu: Mushiyose (Insect Gathering) of artists, scientists and teachers, a foundation course in Insect Aesthetics was proposed. Workshops with pupils were run, conversations were had between members of the Institute and local ecological surveys were undertaken.
However, from this starting point ideas have multiplied and metamorphosed into a range of tools to explore our insect senses. These have now been installed at the School of Insects, where they will develop the hard shell of an insect infrastructure to support the pupae research of the future. Watch the video to see what we have all been up to.
- The Insect Breeding Institute will make a guest appearance at the University Zoology Museum in Cambridge in the Butterflies Through Time exhibition, curated by Matt Hayes. 15th March – 18th September 2022.
- Guide to making mini ponds by Matt Hayes (encourage insects in the smallest of outdoor space – a pond in a planter or even window box).
- School of Insects exhibition – Clay Farm Centre 06/11/21 – 23/12/21
Members of the Insect Breeding Institute
- Carpenter Oak (designer/makers)
- Prof John Drever (acoustics ecology, Goldsmiths)
- Rebecca Green (wildlife watching, Wildlife Trust BCN)
- Matt Hayes (insect ecology & conservation, University of Cambridge)
- Kate Howlett (insect ecology, University of Cambridge)
- Lorelei Lodestar (composting, breeding)
- Charlotte Milbank (epidemiologist & food security, University of Cambridge).
- Dr Alex Murdin (insect infrastructure, ruralrecreation)
- Klara Ravat (olfactory art)
- Tess Tallula (visual art and performance)
The project has been commissioned by Commissions Projects on behalf of Cambridgeshire County Council and Cambridgeshire Primary Education Trust. Support in kind from University of Cambridge and Bedfordshire, Cambridge and Northhamptonshire Wildlife Trust. Sound installation kindly sponsored by Celestion.
Sound engineering from Mattia Cobianchi, Chris Spear & Dominic Bowers. Solar electrical installation thanks to The Huttie Group.