Eleanor Spicer Rice

a colorful artists' rendering of the greenhouse effect
Jaime Van Wart

Eleanor Spicer Rice spent her childhood fascinated by ants, flies, maggots, bones and other natural curiosities. Her family encouraged that inquisitiveness — her father would take her on walks in the swamps near their Goldsboro home, and her parents never told her the bugs that enchanted her were gross.

Reporter's Notebook: Spider Season Doesn't Have To Be Scary

Oct 29, 2019
The Orb Weaver Spider sits in its web at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham.
Adhiti Bandlamudi / WUNC

It's the time of year when spiders are out in full force. They've spun webs and maybe even crept into some corners of your house.

Laura Pellicer
Tammy Jean Lamoureux

It takes a team to research, write and stitch together the many elements of a daily talk show. Laura Pellicer is one of the producers who makes that behind-the-scenes magic happen each day on The State of Things. She joins host Frank Stasio on the other side of the studio glass to share her most memorable interviews and moments on the job in 2018.

Misumena Vatia, or Crab spiders, are able to change color to blend in with their surroundings.
Sean McCann / University of Chicago Press

Despite being an entomologist, Eleanor Spicer Rice was not a likely candidate to write a book about spiders. She is terrified of the creatures. Or at least she was until she partnered up with acclaimed arachnologist Chris Buddle of McGill University.

winnow ant
Alex Wild

According to Eleanor Spicer Rice, ants have a range of personalities, from team player to charismatic. What she will not call them, however, are pests.