Tag Archives: collection

Taxonomy matters. Here’s why.

March 19th is Taxonomist Appreciation Day. I don’t think any government has made official pronouncements on that. That’s OK, we’ve got something better — social media. Taxonomist Appreciation Day was the brainchild of Terry McGlynn, an ecologist who understands the … Continue reading

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How many people does it take to describe a new species?

The Myth of the Solitary Taxonomist goes a bit like this: Solitary Taxonomist goes away to an exotic place, usually with at least one hazard to life and limb, usually land leeches. Collects a specimen. Recognizes it immediately as a … Continue reading

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On biodiversity, museums and breadth

May 22 is the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDBD from here on in). Many people will take the opportunity today to give some thought to the richness and diversity of life on earth, as well as how much we … Continue reading

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A fruit fly is not a mammal, and other revelations from the museum

There’s been a lot of discussion in the past day about a new paper published in Science. The paper is an opinion piece about an argument that’s played out many times in the past, namely: should scientists kill specimens to … Continue reading

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A big bunch of barcoding

I’ve been interacting with DNA barcoding a lot lately. In the decade since Paul Hebert and colleagues first promoted the use of a single, short gene sequence as a rapid identification tool for animals, a huge body of literature has … Continue reading

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Entomology on the road: thoughts on three trips

I haven’t been in the lab much since early June. Summer is the time when the teaching ends and administration tends to slow down, so I can finally devote more of my time to research. A lot of my research … Continue reading

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From grass to graphs: a fly’s journey. Part 2

The first part of this post took us from fieldwork to pinned specimens. After insect specimens are mounted and labelled, the real taxonomic work starts. The Linnean hierarchy (class, order, family, genus, etc.) isn’t just a list of categories to … Continue reading

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