Applications for the 2013/14 Systematics Research Fund are now open!

11. November 2013

The Systematics Association administers one major fund for the benefit of systematics research. Details of the SRF can be found on the homepage. The Fund has an annual funding round with publicised deadlines. For information on eligibility requirements and application details please follow the links to the right. Applications can only be made through the online form which is made available during the funding round.

Typical activities supported include contributions to fieldwork expenditure, the purchase of scientific equipment or expertise (e.g. buying time on analytical equipment), specimen preparation (including the cost of temporary technical assistance), and contributions to publication costs. Projects of a more general or educational nature will also be considered, provided that they include a strong systematics component.

--> link to homepage

Modern Taxonomy course programme 2013-2014 (Distributed European School of Taxonomy) is now online!

25. September 2013

DEST announces the following theoretical courses for students, technicians and early career researchers involved in the field of taxonomy. Primary objective of the programme is to provide future professionals with fundamental expert knowledge in taxonomy. The course programme targets topics such as: nomenclature; describing, writing and illustrating biodiversity/species; collection conservation.

The programme is open to participants from Europe and outside of Europe.

More courses will be added soon!!

New Lemurs for Göttinger Primatologists

19. July 2013

Researchers from the German Primate Center (DPZ) in Göttingen, the Duke Lemur Centers, the University of Kentucky and the Université d'Antananrivo on Madagascar have described two new species of mouse lemurs Microcebus in the "International Journal of Primatology, bringing the number of known mouse lemur species to 20. Like all known lemur species, the newly described Microcebus tanosi and Microcebus marohita are endemic to Madagascar. Microcebus marohita has already been placed in the Red List of Endangered Species.

Although the small primates were first discovered in 2003 and 2007 during field work in the forests of Madagascar, they have only recently been officially recognized as new species. 

What's in a name? New naming methods speed up taxonomical work

24. May 2013

To speed the process of describing all the different species within the hyperdiverse genus of weevils Trigonopterus, German entomologists Alexander Riedel of the Natural History Museum Karlsruhe and Michael Balke of the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology avoided the naming method traditionally used in taxonomy.

While the names of most of the 101 beetles include Latin words that describe their physical features, some were named after the beetles' locality. One got a moniker in honor of the researchers' colleague Katayo Sagata, and another was named for prominent weevil expert Rene Tänzler.

The traditional approach to naming relied only on structural descriptions, and it would have taken the scientists more than a lifetime to name all the beetles, given the many similarities among the insects.

Instead, the researchers sorted the different species by sequencing portions of each beetle's DNA. The results are published in Frontiers of Zoology. They then published a photo of each identified species in an online database called Species ID.


Link to original article, with pictures (National Geographic, March 29th 2013)


other interesting links:

Don't Be Fooled: Flowers Mislead Traditional Taxonomy

8. May 2013

Floral morphologies may be less reliable than other traits in determining the relationships of papilionoid species and genera.

For hundreds of years, plant taxonomists have worked to understand how species are related. Until relatively recently, their only reliable source of information about these relationships was the plants' morphology -- traits that could be observed, measured, counted, categorized, and described visually. And paramount among these morphological traits were aspects of flower shape and arrangement. However, an international team of researchers have found that floral morphologies may be less reliable than other traits in determining the relationships of papilionoid species and genera. Despite their striking differences in flower shape, Luetzelburgia, Sweetia, Vatairea, and Vataireopsis turned out to be close relatives. Moreover, the two genera with papilionate flowers were not each other's closest relatives. According to Cardoso, "We showed that similarity in floral morphology does not predict phylogenetic relatedness. Indeed, genera with very different flower shapes are often very closely related (Luetzelburgia and Vatairea), and genera with highly similar flowers share such similarity via convergent evolution (Vatairea and Vataireopsis)."

Their findings can be found in the recent issue of the American Journal of Botany.


Link to article (March 4, 2013)

Call For Papers - European Journal of Taxonomy

7. May 2013

EJT is an international, fully electronic, Open Acces journal for descriptive taxonomy, in zoology, entomology, botany and palaeontology. Publishing in EJT is free (there are no page charges) and also access is free (there are no subscription charges). So neither authors, nor readers have to pay!

EJT-papers must be original and of a high standard both in scientific content and technical execution (language, artwork, ...). The scope of EJT is global; neither authorship nor the geographical region is restricted to Europe.

EJT publishes taxonomic contributions and revisions, monographs and opinion papers. Less comprehensive taxonomic papers (e.g. those dealing with a few species of a taxon) will be accepted for review provided their wider context and impact is both high and explained clearly.

EJT follows Creative Commons Copyright, so authors retain the copyright of their papers.


EJT manuscripts should be submitted through the Open Journal Systems. Submit your article today on our website, where full Instructions to Authors are available (see Submission).

The smallest frog and SpongeBob - new species 2011

29. December 2011

Every year a number of new species are described, the smallest frog of the world, a fungus looking like a comic figure, and the monster-wasp from Sulawesi. More records can be found →here.

Trapping data to aid conservation

26. July 2011

A pilot project to help digitise data captured by the network of camera traps in India has been launched in a collaboration between Norwegian and Indian scientific institutions. The Norwegian government is providing 1.2 million Norwegian Kroner (US$ 217,000) towards the two-year project. read more

Winner of 2011 Ebbe Nielsen prize announced

26. July 2011

Prof Jens-Christian Svenning of the Department of Biological Sciences at Aarhus University, Denmark, is the winner of the Ebbe Nielsen prize this year. The award of €30,000 recognises innovations in biodiversity informatics. Prof Svenning intends to use the award towards gaining a better understanding of what determines species diversity. read more

Young scientists showcase GBIF data use

26. July 2011

An ornithologist from Mexico and a marine biologist from Ireland are this year’s winners of the GBIF Young Researchers Award. César Antonio Ríos-Muñoz and Conor Ryan, both Ph.D. students, will each receive €4000 to help fund research proposals making innovative use of data made available through the GBIF network. read more

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