Cigar Society of Chicago
K R I S T I A N N A   L E A

Insects: Wacky, Wild, and Brutal

To describe an insect would rarely include the anecdotes of violent murderers, jealous mates, and slave-making societies.  These activities occur around us every day, yet our human society is largely focused upon the friends or foes to our direct lives. The success of pollinators is given far more attention than a lowly dung beetle navigating by the night sky. As we often define insects as relative to humans, the “good” and “bad” insect classification overlooks the natural order that occurs, where no one insect is the best. Insects are arguably looking for biological success – to procreate and pass on specific genes. They engage in wacky reproductive behaviors, gentle parental care, intense societal competition, and brutal predation. Existence is a web of energetic and resource trade-offs.

These amazing insects exist in close proximity to us, yet it’s difficult to appreciate the life-history of a given species. They inhabit nearly every environment on earth, living out specific lives engineered by thousands of years of evolution. A beautiful butterfly that brings a smile to our faces has slowly turned into that creature after generations of change. It will continue to change and evolve if successful, paving the way for successful generations to come. If humans cease to exist, Earth won’t turn into a world overrun by cockroaches. The creatures will return toward their natural order of checks-and-balances, where there is no clear winner. There will be no categorization of a good or bad insect, only that they exist.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020
5:30-7:00 pm CDT

Sign in 5:00-5:30 pm for informal cigar and cocktail chatter.
The event will be called to order at 5:30.
There will be a Q&A session following the lecture. Audience participation is invited.
The event will conclude at 7 pm.
An optional cocktail party and discussion will continue after the event.
Be sure to have your cocktails and cigars at ready hand.

Register for this event.

KRISTIANNA LEA graduated from Cornell University with a BS in entomology and a master's from the Johnson School of Business. By day she is a business analyst at Impendi Analytics. By night, she focuses on arthropod neuroethology–the interaction of neurophysiology, behavior, and evolution in insects, spiders, and crustaceans.  

About the Cigar Society of Chicago

ONE OF THE OLDEST AND greatest traditions of the city clubs of Chicago is the discussion of intellectual, social, legal, artistic, historical, scientific, musical, theatrical, and philosophical issues in the company of educated, bright, and appropriately provocative individuals, all under the beneficent influence of substantial amounts of tobacco and spirits.  The Cigar Society of Chicago embraces this tradition and extends it with its Informal Smokers, University Series lectures, and Cigar Society Dinners, in which cigars, and from time to time pipes and cigarettes, appear as an important component of our version of the classical symposium.  To be included in the Cigar Society's mailing list, write to the secretary at