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Smithsonian Magazine interviewed Michael L. McKinney for a story about the diversity of insects and spiders that live in every room in people’s homes — unbeknown to the residents.

McKinney is a professor of evolutionary biology and environmental science in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

A recent study, based on results of a multi-home study, shows that our houses contain a shocking diversity of arthropods — the group of animals that includes insects, spiders and crustaceans. In some cases, more than 200 arthropod species were found in single homes.

“Urban ecology has been very neglected but we are beginning to see that species diversity in our cities is quite high and also very important,” McKinney told the publication. “I think this paper is very significant — indeed, I would say cutting edge — and I hope it stimulates much further research in this area.” Read the story online.