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Alignment of two classifications of the Monotremata

Echidnas, platypus – monotremes are amazing. They are also subject of an exploratory project to align two highly influential classifications of mammals using the Euler/X toolkit. Of course we are talking about:

  1. Mammal Species of the World, 3rd Edition. 2005.
  2. Mammal Species of the World, 2nd Edition. 1993. [not or no longer available on-line; which relates to our project’s aims.]

The respective 1993 & 2005 monotreme classifications were authored by Colin Groves. Thanks to MSW Editor DeeAnn Reeder for enthusiasm and support. Below is an abbreviated representation of how we aligned the two classifications. Most critically, in 1998 Zaglossus sec. Flannery & Groves (1998) was revised, and a new species (concept) Z. attenboroughi was added. Let us see what else changed..

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Move of the collections to Alameda is nearing completion

The ASU-SoLS Natural History Collections are close to completing a “once in 50 years” move to the newly renovated Alameda space. Parts of the collections started moving as early as December, 2013. Except for the invertebrates (specifically, the Hasbrouck Insect Collection and the rediscovered Roworth Shell Collection), most collections have now moved physically and people, cabinets, and other resources are starting to get settled in and reactivated. Shared spaces for outreach, teaching, collections research, and informatics are taking shape. We are nearly doubling our square footage and at the same time unifying physically and conceptually. See the latest photos here.

An official opening of the space and collections is tentatively scheduled for the beginning of the Fall semester, but our occupancy and activities will commence much sooner. A first invertebrate zoology course will be offered at Alameda during the summer.

Weekly reading: Missing values, inapplicable states and polymorphic taxa

The third and likely penultimate session in our “explore cladistic coding” series. A brief primer below; more during our discussions and practices.

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ASUHIC Night of the Open Door – 2014

On the evening of March 1st, 2014, the Franz Lab and Hasbrouck Insect Collection team participated in ASU’s annual Night of the Open Door Event. We created close to 1500 sq. ft. of space with diverse themes, stations, apps, and activities for insect and invertebrate enthusiasts of all ages. Live bedbugs,  hissing cockroaches, insect origami, Arium3D’s “Beyond a Bug in a Box”, land and marine shells, bees, true bugs, cameras and microscopes, a giant Jerusalem cricket, and much more.

As in the previous year, the event attracted well over 1,000 visitors and was an amazing success (in spite of rare and strong Arizona spring rains). Special thanks to Andrea, Annette, Catherine, Dale, Danica,  Guanyang, Michael (L.), Michael (S.), Sarah, Zhen, and of course Melody and Sangmi for making it all happen. See more photos of the event here.

This was likely the last outing of this kind in the Life Sciences W Wing. Next year we hope to celebrate the Night of the Open Door activities at our newly renovated location at Alameda Drive.