Yesterday we completed our first media workshop. Three of the ARTS principle investigators spent 10 days working with videographer Ana Endara and illustrator Meghan Rock. We now have hours of footage for our how-to videos (stay tuned for their release in 2016). Meghan's plates and illustrations will be integrated into taxonomic publications, posters and presentations and our illustrated glossary, which will be released in 2016. Next year our other 3 PIs will repeat the process.
This week the ARTS team is making movies in Bocas del Toro.
Taxonomists can't identify contracted pickled blobs - For many groups of invertebrates it is impossible to identify animals that have not been prepared and preserved correctly. Each group is different and has it's own idiosyncrasies in how animals respond to relaxants and preservatives. For some MgCl2 is a great relaxant; for some menthol is the way to go. Some have to be preserved in formalin; for some drying or ethanol are preferred. For some living color is vital; for others it's misleading.
One of the major products of our ARTS grant will be a series of how-to videos showing the tricks and techniques used for collecting, preserving and identifying marine organisms.
Published this week, CO-PI Fani Rodriguez and co-authors reports on the phyro-sequencing of 6 complete and 3 partial mitochondrial genomes from sea anemones. This contributes significantly to what we know about molecular evolution in Anthozoa.
Find the paper at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/19401736.2015.1053114
Saturday was the start of the 4th Tropical Field Phycology course in Bocas del Toro. This is the first major event supported by our NSF-ARTS grant and it looks like it will be a major success.
Trainees include students from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, UK, and the USA. Lead by ARTS PI Dr. Suzanne Fredericq (University of Louisiana at Lafayette) and co-instructor Dr. Wilson Freshwater (University of North Carolina at Wilmington) the aspiring taxonomist participants will practice identifying tropical algae and gain the tools to discover and describe new species.
Follow the class on twitter: Seaweed_diversity (@Seaweediversity) | Twitter
Our NSF ARTS grant "Integrative Research and Training in Tropical Taxonomy" was officially awarded on March 17, 2015. That's 2 days before Taxonomist Appreciation Day.
Thank you NSF for appreciating taxonomists.
You can find out more about taxonomy, what taxonomists do, and taxonomist appreciation day by reading these excellent blog posts.
Small Pond Science [TAD post 2014; TAD post 2015]
Echinoblog [ post ]