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Weekly reading: Dispersal-vicariance analysis

Last week’s paper on parametric biogeography methods by Ronquist & Sanmartín (2012) was densely written and programmatic as much as it was a review. It presents and assumes a fair amount of prior understanding. In subsequent weekly discussions we will trace back and understand the different models and methods covered by these leading authors. The general theme is event-based methods in biogeography. Likely a good place to start retracing the development of this field is Ronquist (1997): Dispersal-vicariance analysis: a new approach to the quantification of historical biogeography. This will be our reading paper for next week.

2013 BIO 386 course has first field trip to Coon Bluff

On Thursday, August 29, students of the ASU-SoLS General Entomology course BIO 386 had their first night collecting trip to Coon Bluff Campground, an iconic local collecting site along the Salt River in the Tonto National Forest. The proper way to record the locality information is “U.S.: AZ: Maricopa Co.; Tonto NF, Coon Bluff;  33.547349, -111.644989; general coll. & at Hg/UV lights; leg. N. Franz [replace with your name], VIII-29-2013”. See more photos here.

Euler at WFLP 2013

Mingmin Chen of Bertram Ludäscher’s lab at the University of California at Davis is attending the 22nd International Workshop on Functional and (Constraint) Logic Programming to present on a working implementation of Euler/X – a toolkit for logic-based taxonomy integration. The above image shows seven “possible world” scenarios that obtain when integrating an abstract example of two related taxonomies with three disjoint articulations (each containing an “or” and two RRC-5 relations).

Introducing WoNA

WoNA – Weevils of North America – is a project that utilizes the Symbiota software platform to produce an up-to-date, specimen-based overview of the taxonomy and distribution of members of the superfamily Curculionoidea in Canada and the United States.

Weekly reading: Phylogenetic methods in biogeography

Our upcoming weekly discussion will cover this article by Ronquist & Sanmartín (2011) – – dealing with event based methods and parametric biogeography.

URL is live, with pretty permalinks

taxonbytes is now fully set up on ASU’s pinkava server , with proper URL and “pretty” permalinks. It will replace the old website in about 2 weeks from now.

taxonbytes inaugural post

Welcome to taxonbytes (, the new WordPress-based website and multi-member blog for people, projects, and miscellaneous news and comments in and around the Franz Lab (formerly at in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. taxonbytes – all small letters is the preferred rendering – embodies our new slogan “from specimens to language, logic, and learning”. The latter is meant to reflect the lab’s primary focus on traditional, specimen-based systematics research, leading to improved classifications of insects and other invertebrate taxa. We oversee the future development of ASU’s Hasbrouck Insect Collection (ASUHIC). The lab is furthermore active in a number of biodiversity informatics initiatives such as Symbiota (via SCAN), mx, and the logic-centered Euler Project. Pushing the envelope towards a more knowledge representation and reasoning (KRR) compatible systematic practice is among our central goals. Last not least we are engaged in translating knowledge gained through our work with specimens and in systematics into an innovative outreach program which includes the Arium3D Project.

taxonbytes is intended to be an open, evolving platform that will allow the lab members to interact, interconnect, and showcase our professional endeavors in a virtual setting. Stay put for upcoming content.