About This Project
Rove beetles are one of the most diverse groups of organisms on Earth. I want to make an interactive online key to help anyone identify what they've found. I also want to encourage others to seek funds and make keys over the beasts they study.
Completed key available at: http://keys.lucidcentral.org/keys/v3/nastaphylinid...
Ask the ScientistsJoin The Discussion
What is the context of this research?
There are two goals:
1) Build an interactive online Lucid identification key to the subfamilies of Staphylinidae (Coleoptera, rove beetles and their relatives) occurring in North America.
2) Use this as a proof-of-concept example to convince budding taxonomists to build and share Lucid identification keys over their taxa of choice.
What is the significance of this project?
The Identification Key: Staphylinidae (rove beetles) is the largest family of animals. It represents an enormous chunk of global biodiversity with over 52,000 species known worldwide. However many more species are undescribed. Identification of known species is difficult due to the wide diversity of body forms that occur among the various subfamilies. A well-illustrated key to subfamilies will aid in identification and encourage more workers to study this awesome group of organisms.
The Concept: One of the best things a budding taxonomist can do is build a lucid key for their taxa of interest. It provides them with an introduction to the beasts they'll be working with, and provides a valuable resource they can share with the rest of the community. For an undergraduate or early graduate student a couple thousand dollars in funding legitimizes their research and gives them some money for books, supplies, or maybe a short trip to visit a collection or to visit an expert. Crowd funding is a way for the scientific community to help its youngest members and get desired resources in the bargain.
What are the goals of the project?
The funds will be used for a trip to visit the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois. Four people, a post-doc (me!), a Ph.D. student, a Master's student, and an undergraduate will travel from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Chicago and spend five days working in the collection. The Field Museum contains the largest collection of staphylinid beetles in the United States. Curators at the museum (Margaret Thayer and Alfred Newton) are global leaders in staphylinid taxonomy. They will be invited to review and discuss the key and provide comments, corrections, etc. The visit will also provide an opportunity to collaborate on additional research.
The budget is used to cover travel expenses for four researchers to visit the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago for five days.
Meet the Team
Team BioI grew up playing in the mud and collecting bugs on a little farm in Missouri. To date I've been involved with 14 referred publications, described 15 new species (Staphylinidae: Sonoma), published on almost 60,000 specimens, and got to do some nice traveling (although never enough!). Visit spongymesophyll.com for publications and more info about me. Feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have any questions.
I grew up playing in the mud and collecting bugs on a little farm in Missouri. To date I've been involved with 20 referred publications, described 17 new species (Staphylinidae: Sonoma and Batrisodes), published on almost 60,000 specimens, and got to do some nice traveling (although never enough!). Visit spongymesophyll.com for publications and more info about me. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
- $2,275Total Donations
- $81.25Average Donation