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Posts from the ‘Meetings’ Category

EntSoc14 Twitter pride and joy

ECN 2014 and ESA 2014 in Portland have come and gone. Great meeting, and dare I say a new sense of togetherness via social media that can improve science communication, science itself.

ESA 2014 presentation – Aligning insect phylogenies: Perelleschus and other cases

Slides are up for the Euler/X Perelleschus (+) presentation at Entomology 2014.

Franz 2014 ESA Aligning Insect Phylogenies Perelleschus and Other Cases from taxonbytes

Presentations and posters at ECN and ESA 2014

Our lab has had an eventful joint ECN/ESA 2014 meeting and presentation/poster schedule of activities. Most presentations are now posted. Great meetings – even won recognition for our Twitter contributions.

ECN 2014

Symposium – Harvesting the fruits of our labor: Utilizing collections databases to advance 21st century entomology.

1. Neil Cobb, Katja Seltmann & Nico Franz. 2014. The current state of arthropod biodiversity data: Addressing impacts of global change. Presentation.

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BIGCB Workshop at UC Berkeley: Tackling the Taxon Concept Problem

November 7-9, 2014. Coolest workshop theme, like, ever. Organized by Brent Mishler and Staci Markos of the UC Berkeley Jepson Herbarium.

Understanding Taxon Ranges in Space and Time: Tackling the Taxon Concept Problem

A Workshop Sponsored by the Berkeley Initiative in Global Change Biology

Friday, November 7, 2014, 1002 VLSB, open to all who are interested.

1:00 pm: Brent Mishler  –  Introduction to the themes and goals of this workshop.

1:10 pm: Edward Gilbert  –  Ideas for incorporating taxonomic concepts into Symbiota.

1:40 pm: Robert Guralnick  –  Map of Life and the challenge of heterogeneous names data for determining species ranges.

2:10 pm: Gaurav Vaidya  –  Tracking taxonomic changes: how, where and why, with examples from the Avibase database of taxon concepts. Link & PDF

2:40 pm: Coffee Break.

3:00 pm: Robert Peet  –  Taxon concepts as essential infrastructure for large-scale data integration: lessons from VegBank, SEEK and BIEN. PDF

3:30 pm: Nico Franz  –  Tracking taxonomic change across classifications and phylogenies. PDF

4:00 pm: Alan Weakley  –  Applying concept maps to 7100 vascular plants of the Southeastern United States, and some thoughts on ‘atomic concepts’ and their utility at the specimen level.  PDF

4:30 pm: Nico Cellinese  –  Thoughts on the right approach to query trees based on phyloreferences (ontologized phylogenetic definitions).

Additional Workshop Notes

  • Communicated by Robert Peet  –  Taxonomic concept infrastructure-related entities requiring identifiers. PDF

Les Landrum Retirement Celebration at Alameda

On Friday, October 3rd, 2014, we celebrated the official retirement of ASU Vascular Plant Herbarium Curator Dr. Les Landrum. The event took place at the just inaugurated Alameda Building. Attendance of colleagues and students, and spirits, were high – a true and fitting celebration of Les’ broad impact on the Herbarium, Southwestern United States floristics, mentoring and collaboration, and plant systematics (Myrtaceae) and biodiversity informatics (SEINet) more generally.

DarwinGuavasLiz Makings led the excellent organization of the event and, by giving an entertaining and insightful overview of the honoree’s personality and career (up to now), expressed a depth of appreciation for Les and his work that was felt by all.

Needless to say, “retirement” is a relative term for Les, and we will be fortunate to rely on his presence and dedication to the Herbarium and collections group for years to come.

Some photos of the party and its diverse and inspired food offerings are posted here.

Thank you, Les.


Dr. Les Landrum surrounded by friends, colleagues, and students. October 3rd, 2014.

2014 UC Boulder Meaning of Names Conference in Review

A relatively short review of the timely conference “The Meaning of Names: Naming Diversity in the 21st Century”, held on September 30 to October 2nd, 2014, and organized by Rob Guralnick and the University of Colorado at Boulder Museum of Natural History.

I have uploaded the Conference Program for reference. I gave an update on Euler/X, the slides are shared again here. Some photos of the conference participants are posted on Flickr.

Having had an opportunity to present for 30 minutes allowed me to review some general ideas about names and concepts and apparently (given positive reactions) made the presentation more accessible. A number of engaging and thematically diverse presentations were in the line-up, although the diversity of domains of application did not necessarily mean immediate directional friction. Names – the “right ones” – remain essential to information transmission that employs human cognition and memorization. Among other fleeting observations, it seemed clear to me that the standard OBO Foundry approach to fixating the meaning of terms is not all that biodiversity informatics needs to integrate taxonomically annotated data. I also think we are at the cusp of separating more clearly and consistently what conventional taxonomic names can achieve for human communication, and what they need to achieve in addition to support scalable computational integration. Two Global Names Architecture presentations (Ellinor Michel and David Patterson, respectively) pointed that way. To what extent the “additional layer” for logic integration is needed, and justified by apparent representational and infrastructural costs, was an underlying theme of the conference. In other words – progress.

Franz. 2014. Explaining taxonomy’s legacy to computers – how and why? from taxonbytes

Impressions from the Alameda Grand Opening

Some impressions from yesterday’s Grand Opening of the newly renovated and now fully functional Alameda space for the ASU School of Life Sciences Natural History Collections, Informatics & Outreach Group. The event was attended by more than 200 illustrious guests from ASU and the greater community. A wonderful opportunity to showcase how the collections are now positioned to promote biodiversity research and learning. A set of photos from the event is linked here.

The State Press: ASU Alameda opening puts natural history on display

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Conference presentation: Explaining taxonomy’s legacy to computers – how and why?

I will give an updated presentation on the Euler/X project and concept taxonomy at the conference “The Meaning of Names: Naming Diversity in the 21st Century”, held at the Museum of Natural History, University of Colorado – Boulder, on September 29 to October 01, 2014. Slides are posted on Slideshare, and linked here. Thanks to Rob Guralnick for the invitation!

Franz. 2014. Explaining taxonomy’s legacy to computers – how and why? from taxonbytes