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Weekly reading: Structural complexity in ancestral ontologies

Next week’s reading in our quickly ending series on coding characters and (most recently) dynamic homology.

Ramírez, M.J. & P. Michalik. 2014. Calculating structural complexity in phylogenies using ancestral ontologies. Cladistics (Early View). Available here.

Update: Wonderful paper! Love the innovative and somewhat irreverent use of ontologies specifically to address and answer a genuine systematic question complex, outside of the “Protégé paradigm” (and in fact without formal reasoning, period). Ramírez and co-authors are onto something novel and impactful.

Undergraduate student Usmaan Basharat won travel award from NESCent to attend “Evolution 2014”

Undergraduate research student Usmaan Basharat has won an Undergraduate Diversity at Evolution 2014 travel award from NESCent (National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, North Carolina). This award will cover the entire expenses for traveling to and attending the Evolution 2014 meeting, the largest annual meeting in the field of evolutionary biology, systematics and natural history, jointly held by the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE), the Society of Systematic Biologists (SSB), and the American Society of Naturalists (ASN)Usmaan will be presenting a poster on his research on the biogeography of West Indian entimine weevils.

Congratulations to Usmaan!

Can we teach logic reasoners to correctly apply nomenclatural rules?

No, this not concept taxonomy. Instead this post is intended to set up a nomenclaturally and taxonomically correct use case for an Answer Set Programming (ASP) reasoning project. The post will limit itself to: (1) getting the required nomenclatural emendations “right” (Section 4), given (2) a specific set of starting conditions (Sections 1 & 2), and (3) a new taxonomic insight that necessitates change (Section 3).

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Andrew Jansen defended Master’s thesis

Today graduate student Andrew Jansen defended his Master’s thesis entitled “A Phylogenetic Revision of Minyomerus Horn, 1876 and Piscatopus Sleeper, 1960 (Curculionidae: Entiminae: Tanymecini: Tanymecina)”.

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Hasbrouck moving day

Indeed, we hauled. More than 2,000 insect drawers, in fact, from the old to the new location in the Alameda Building (734 W Alameda Drive) where they will find their new and permanent home. Follow this link to see additional “moving” images from April 15, 2014. It was a lot of hard, physical work but went very smoothly. Now it is time to get settled into the new place.

Very special thanks to Andrea, Andrew, Charlotte, Catherine, Chelsey, David, Guanyang, Lin, Melody, Naomi, Ray, and Sarah for all your tireless help!

Hasbrouck Insect Collection – Meet our new compactors

The Hasbrouck Insect Collection had its new system of compactors installed last week. The collection is thereby doubling its storage capacity, compared to the (pre-) 2011 infrastructure. Dramatic upgrades that validate our efforts and the support given to the insect collection by many entities and people. Tuesday, April 15, is our big moving day when all ~1800 insect drawers will make the trip to the Alameda Building. Stay tuned for more; as previously we are documenting the process of moving and new developments on our Flickr page .


Hasbrouck Insect Collection space LSA 131 – May, 2011.


Hasbrouck Insect Collection space AB 145 – April, 2014.

ESA Pacific Branch 2014 – meeting presentations

Franz Lab graduate students Andrew Jansen and Andrew Johnston presented papers at this year’s 98th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America, held on April 06-09, 2014, at the Marriott University Park in Tucson, Arizona. Here are their presentation titles, and photos taken by Sangmi Lee.

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Usmaan Basharat and Zhen Geng receive SOLUR researcher awards

In this year’s competition, Franz Lab undergraduate students Usmaan Basharat and Zhen Geng have received the 2014-1015 SOLUR Researcher Awards. Both students are conducting research on the molecular aspects of the Neotropical entimine weevil project, in close coordination with postdoc Guanyang Zhang.

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