Visiting Chungnam National University


I visited Junggon Kim at Chungnam National University (CNU) located in Daejeon Metropolitan City of South Korea. He is a PhD candidate, studying systematics of Miridae (Hemiptera). We’ve been knowing each other for about 10 years or over now. Couple of years back, he requested me to collect some nearctic Miridae samples, and I generously collected and provided him. As I’m visiting South Korea this time, I decided to take the recent collections to him personally. As the current location I was staying in is quite far from the CNU, I had to take an intercity bus (similar to Greyhound of the U.S. which drives across the cities and states), taking about 3 hours of total trip to get there. Although it is not that distanced as 3 hours in the U.S.(Since traffic in US and Korea is quite differs), it takes quite a time to get to the end from the other end in South Korea.

10,000 KRW is about 10.00 USD. It took me about one hour to reach Seongnam Intercity Bus Station (Seongnam, Gyeonggi) from my place, and from that bus station, it took another two hours to get to the Daejeon Metropolitan City.

Finally, after three hours, on 6PM, I arrived at the CNU at Daejeon Metropolitan City of South Korea. This was my first visit to Daejeon, as I’ve never been far out from Seoul, the capitol city of South Korea in my childhood. I took a wrong bus and dropped off at the main entrance of CNU, took me a long walk to get to the place we were supposed to meet. I walked about a mile, and then Junggon decided to come pick me up with his car as his lab located at far back of the campus. I realized where I was picked up is only about a half a road to the lab, inside the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

We went straight to dinner with a surprise guest, Hangyeol Ji, a MS Student studying Tingidae (Hemiptera). I’ve been knowing him from the Internet forum, 곤충사육필살기 (gon-choong-saa-yook-feel-sal-gii, meaning a super technique of insect rearing) housing over five thousand members, and he was once the head administrator.

AND two undergraduate students, Jaedong Kim (micro-Lepidoptera) and Jihoon Kim (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) joined our dinner table. Two are very knowledgeable students in their field of study, working toward getting entomology degrees. As they happened to be students of CNU, I decided to ask them to come over. Despite the great time I’m enjoying with them, I found out the very last bust departing back to Seongnam is on 9PM. So we had to hurry back to the CNU lab and take a look at the collection room.

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Their collection room was quite messy as they were keep updating things. Junggon showed me around and explained that the lab is now preserving specimens in fluid, for DNA sequencing. Also the current dried collections are from old adviser/head professor, and no one has enough time to sort them up. Still, there were A LOT of dried collections.

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It was interesting as there were lots of public display collections as well as bunch of mixed up butterflies, beetles, and all other things. Some are labeled properly while some aren’t. Junggon said some portion of dried collections are donations from previous students who took introductory entomology courses.

From the left to right: Jihoon Kim (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), Jaedong Kim (micro-Lepidoptera), Junsuk Kim (author), Hangyeol Ji (Hemiptera: Tingidae), Junggon Kim (Hemiptera: Miridae).

Now, I REALLY had to hurry back, thankfully, Junggon Kim gave me a quick ride to the intercity bus station so I was able to get on bus in time. I returned to home at around 12AM. Although it was very short trip to CNU, I really enjoyed my time with good people there.


Visiting the National Institute of Biological Resources


National Institute of Biological Resources (NIBR) is an institute located in Incheon, South Korea, housing a great number of natural resources collections, working towards conservation of all animal and plant species of South Korea, and many other projects. This was my second visit since the summer 2015, with small collections for donation. Dr. Taewoo Kim, once again welcomed me with couple of other researchers at his department NIBR.

Dr. Taewoo Kim told me as he got a meeting, I will have to go to his office at Department of Animal Resources, and wait for him. (Last time, he picked me up at the first floor of Research and Management Building)

As I was an outsider to this institute, I had to wear this visitor’s pass. Two other researchers (Dr. Hong-Yul Seo and Dr. Tae Hwa Kang) welcomed me in, and Dr. Kang showed me around the collection room once again.

Their cabinets were interesting, as they have to steer(?) each handle to move around the entire row of cabinets and access the drawers. I think the purpose is to save space.

He also showed me how my last donations are taken cared. Dr. Kang said all these specimens used to be sorted with Korean specimens in taxonomic order, but then as these non-Korean species and specimens are not being updated with additional collections, they decided to have them sorted in separate cabinet.

Last time, I visited on Monday, which is a holiday for Exhibit & Education Building, so I did not get a chance to look around, but this time, Dr. Kang showed me around entire place and explained lots of things. I think this place has great collections even to the public. Then, we enjoyed a lunch with Dr. Taewoo Kim, and went couple of other lab rooms to meet many other researchers.

As a gift to donors, I received two aspirators for different types of insect collecting from NIBR. I met couple of people I knew from the Internet as well. Also, as an appreciation to donors, there is this screen at first floor listing the donors and their information. (image below)

20170405_130535It is written in Korean, but it says my name, Junsuk Kim and the affiliation at the time of donation, which was University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

From left to right: Dr. Tae Hwa Kang (Coleoptera: Cantharidae), Junsuk Kim(Author), and Dr. Taewoo Kim (Orthoptera). A Young Kim (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae, behind camera).

I really enjoyed my time there and advises from them as well as the gifts.

Visiting the Seoul National University

03 April 2017

Seoul National University (SNU) is a national research university located in Seoul, South Korea. It is the most prestigious university in the country. There are three campuses with main one located in Gwanak, Seoul.

Jang, H., S. Lee, and W. Choi. 2015. Cerambycidae of Korea. Geobook, Seoul, South Korea. 399 pp.

I visited Seunghyun Lee, a PhD candidate of systematic of entomology, focusing on family Cerambycidae, at Seoul National University. He has published number of journal papers and a book of all the known Cerambycidae species occurring in South Korea with his colleagues, Hyunkyu Jang and Woong Choi. He has asked me for some nearctic Cerambycidae samples, so I have been collecting one by one. Then as I’m in Korea, I decided to go meet him personally and take a look at the SNU lab. He treated me a nice, warm dinner with a tour to his laboratory. The purpose of visit is to meet Seunghyun Lee in person as well as to see how insect collections are housed in SNU.

_DSC5220This is how the entrance of SNU looks like. There is a big structure (partially shaded by tree on right). (Photo taken in June 2015).

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Images of collection room. The collection cabinets can be moved by door handle at the side. You will have to rotate it to access each cabinets. It seems it can save a lot of space, except it would be difficult to have many different people to work on their own things.

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Scarab drawers.

Drawers had hooks to lock them up, which I’ve seen it couple of times in UNL.

This room here is for graduate students to work on their research. This room had photographing equipment and the equipment for DNA sequencing works as well.

His photographing skills are amazing, and says he he just works in this set up, with StackShot device connected to the camera with electronic macro slide.

From left to right: Seunghyun Lee (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), Junsuk Kim(author), Jinbae Seung (Coleoptera: Eucneimidae, Histeridae), Minhyeuk Lee (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae).

From left to right: Seunghyun Lee (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), Junsuk Kim (author), Jinbae Seung (Coleoptera: Eucneimidae, Histeridae), Minhyeuk Lee (Coleoptera: Scarabaeinae), Minseok Oh (Hemiptera: Miridae). Sunghyeok Nam (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae, behind the camera).

I’m not completely sure whether the spellings of their English names are correct as I only converted their Korean names to English pronunciation (based on how I think). I will update as I find out their names in English in future.

Korea Trip 2017 – Prologue

27 March 2017 – 25 April 2017

I had a trip to South Korea for about a month for my personal reasons, and then entomological businesses there. I planned and made appointments to visit institutions including Seoul National University (Seoul, South Korea), Chungnam National University (Daejeon Metropolitan City, S. Chungcheong, South Korea), National Institute of Biological Resources (Incheon, South Korea), and Seoul-forest (Seoul, South Korea). Also I made a visit to insect museums of Chungwoo Insectarium, Manchun Insectarium, and insect shop Insect Harmony.

I got this many, about 600 or more collections of pinned, papered and fluid collections for donations to each institute.

I departed from the George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) at Houston, Texas, and arrived in Incheon International Airport (ICN) at Incheon, South Korea.

DSC07424It was about 14-15 hours of flight with a little bit of turbulence. It was fine flight compares to past flight I had. I will only post about my visits to three institutes of:

Seoul National University
National Institute of Biological Resources
Chungnam National University

*Click them, you will redirected to each visit in a new tab.