Insect diversity @ McGill
Stories about our collection of three million unique little volumes of biodiversity, the people who build and use it, and the research we do. And the odd rumination upon the nature of science and scientists.
All content copyright Terry A. Wheeler 2011-2013, unless otherwise noted.
TagsAgromyzidae alpine arctic biodiversity Bombyliidae Braulidae Calliphoridae Canada Chloropidae Coleoptera collecting collection conferences curation databases Diopsidae Diptera DNA barcode ecology Ephydridae evolution fieldwork flies Hemiptera history Hymenoptera Ichneumonidae ideas Keroplatidae Milichiidae natural history new species Northern Biodiversity Program Phoridae plants publications Scathophagidae science culture students Syrphidae taxonomy teaching thinking
Tag Archives: ecology
(this is reposted from our Desert Ecology field course blog at desertecology.wordpress.com) You have to make a basic decision on every road trip: spend a little time in lots of places, or spend more time in fewer places. Like any … Continue reading
Two new papers on insect ecology from the Lyman group appeared this week: one in print, and one new paper in press. Amélie Grégoire Taillefer’s new paper in Restoration Ecology (see Grégoire Taillefer & Wheeler 2013 in Publications) is a … Continue reading
Sometimes I think there might be such a thing as too much data. I expanded my research program a few years ago from just taxonomy and systematics, into community ecology of insects. This meant I had to change the way … Continue reading
I gave a lecture today in my first-year Evolution course about the importance of good taxonomy to other fields of biology. Tales of biocontrol successes and failure, and bioprospecting for new cancer drugs, and discovery of useful wild crop relatives, … Continue reading
Flies are in the news this week because of a newly published paper demonstrating that male Drosophila flies who fail to find a mate are more likely to consume more alcohol. This finding is not only scientifically interesting, it probably … Continue reading
My post a few days ago about my project on arctic flies generated an interesting question from my colleague Brian Brown. With so many possible projects, and so many unknown species, how do I prioritize? Brian and I specialize on … Continue reading
Diptera are fascinating insects – diverse, bizarre, economically and medically important – but underappreciated by most people other than dipterists. We launched this series in an earlier post with a selection of five randomly selected reasons flies are great. In … Continue reading
Our insect collection has its roots in an amateur collection. Predictably, that means our holdings are very strong in two orders popular with collectors – butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera) and beetles (Coleoptera). We had, at last count, about 130,000 pinned … Continue reading
I was giving a tour of the museum last week to some alumni who were back on campus for Homecoming and somebody asked me that question. The Lyman Museum has in the neighborhood of three million specimens, but we have … Continue reading