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Rediscovering the Edwin Roworth Shell Collection

This morning we had access to ASU’s Edwin C. Roworth Shell Collection, currently located in a storage area off campus. There are tentative plans to reactivate this collection – estimated to contain more than 100,000 shells – and integrate it with the new Alameda Natural History Collection space. In the meantime, marvel at a very superficial photo inventory of this impressive collection here.

Authoring interactive identification keys in SCAN – an introduction

Most recent update: February 26, 2014.

SCAN has activated the module for authoring interactive identification keys, even though the keys themselves are not yet live for potential users. In what follows some of the basic interfaces and practices for authoring keys are introduced. Prospective SCAN members interested in preparing keys individually or in collaboration should contact Nico Franz.

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Using the Euler/X toolkit to align taxonomies – introductory notes

Most recent update: July 15, 2014 (minor editing updates; link to video).

Our group is involved in promoting concept taxonomy. Here are some preliminary, and evolving, step-by-step instructions on how to employ the Euler/X toolkit to align two taxonomies or phylogenies. A short video is also available here.

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ETC and Euler meeting at University of Arizona

Lead members of the Exploring Taxon Concepts (ETC) and Euler projects held a joint workshop at the School of Information Resources and Library Sciences (SIRLS) at the University of Arizona on February 19-20, 2014. On the meeting agenda were mutual updates, project coordination, and the formulation of detailed user scenarios for ETC tools; including: taxon-character matrix generation, matrix review, multi-entry interactive identification key generation, taxon concept similarity comparison, taxonomic revision support, and ETC/Euler interfaces and workflow integration.

Shown on the group photo, from left to right: (sitting) Lorena Endara, Hong Cui (ETC PI), Heather Cole, and Elvis Yu; (standing) Nico Franz, Bertram Ludäscher (Euler PI), James Macklin, Joel Sachs, Robert Morris, Thomas Rodenhausen, and Shizhuo Yu. 

Perelleschus concept paper receives Outstanding Paper for 2013 Award

TaylorFrancisPrize-2013The Editorial leaders of Systematics and Biodiversity have given our Perelleschus concept paper the Journal’s Outstanding Paper for 2013 Award, shared with Coyer et al. 2013.

Editor Prof. Elliot Shubert writes that among the notable comments were: “A carefully argued exploration of the use of taxonomic concepts, and justification of the “sec” notation, which provides a sound basis for further development of these ideas.” And: “It is the treatment of tracking the history of concepts of taxa that I believe is of great consequence, particularly as taxonomy moves into an increasingly electronic realm.” We thank the Editors for this endorsement.

Complete citation: Franz, N.M. & J. Cardona-Duque. 2013. Description of two new species and phylogenetic reassessment of Perelleschus Wibmer & O’Brien, 1986 (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), with a complete taxonomic concept history of Perelleschus sec. Franz & Cardona-Duque, 2013. Systematics and Biodiversity 11: 209–236. Link

Citation of Award: Shubert, E. 2014. Taylor & Francis Prize 2013. Systematics and Biodiversity 12: 125-126. Link

Franz Lab to attend RCN environment ontology meeting

Members of the Franz Lab will attend a Phenotype RCN Meeting at the University of Arizona’s Biosphere2 this weekend (February 21-22, 2014). This year’s agenda will focus on environment ontologies. Read more

Weekly reading: Character types and coding methods

Second chapter in the “let’s get some practice” series. In this week’s reading practice we will explore the interaction of alternative coding schemes and tree/optimization outcomes, both “by hand” and with WinClada and NONA. In particular, we will apply and compare simple binary, non-additive multi-state, and complex additive character coding schemes. We will assess their effects on cladogram length and on the character state optimizations along the internal cladogram nodes. We will start by learning how to code complex character state hierarchies as additive binary as well as additive multi-state characters. Please do some reading of the handout beforehand.

Initial alignment of two weevil classifications with the Euler toolkit

Linked here is an interim result of my attempt to align two influential weevil classifications by Thompson (1992) and Alonso-Zarazaga & Lyal (1999) with the Euler/X toolkit. For additional information see this link.

Update, February 18, 2014: Here is another alignment of two phylogenetic classifications of weevil families and subfamilies, according to Kuschel (1995) and Marvaldi & Morrone (2002).

  • Kuschel, G. 1995. A phylogenetic classification of Curculionoidea to families and subfamilies. Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Washington 14: 5-33.
  • Marvaldi, A.E. & J.J. Morrone. 2000. Phylogenetic systematics of weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea): a reappraisal based on larval and adult morphology. Insect Systematics & Evolution 31: 43-58.