Meeting Two: A three-day meeting focusing on research-driven goals.
The core of the meeting is to effectively review, develop, and strategize towards the over-arching goal of the project, i.e., synthesizing multi-faceted data sets and working towards the first-ever comprehensive monographic treatments for two species-rich, morphologically diverse clades within Frullania. This may serve as a model for ongoing systematic work on the genus and similarly other species-rich genera. The meeting is critical in its timing because it will greatly augment active regional treatments for the genus with international partners, including Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, southern South America, and China as well as studies in North America and Europe. Critical goals include: i) how to accelerate taxonomic documentation and syntheses for Frullania, including regional revisions; ii) review and discuss the marshaling and synthesizing of multiple data sets using computer-aided and web-based tools, including interactive keys, and electronic dissemination will be achieved by exploiting multiple media, including PhytoKeys, EoL, and web accessible institutional databases; iii) identify morphologically variable and poorly understood species complexes for genetic diversity studies; iv) provide an updated and revised classification and review species distribution patterns; investigate the utility of ScratchPads to enhance a community driven effort; v) review rapid colour guides identifying the most common species regionally.
The Synthesis Center will host a two-day planning and coordination meeting for the BiTS (Bivalves in Time and Space) group. The project is described at bivatol.org/bits and aims to test the accuracy of methods to reconstruct ancestral morphology, dates, geography, and diversification patterns.
Meeting One: A two-day meeting focusing on education and outreach.
Critical in our project strategy is a novel network that will “broaden the human resource base available to tackle the taxonomic impediment” by having students actively engage in data capture and pursue individual projects. We are currently preparing a pilot study to take place at Wilbur Wright – a Chicago City College. This approach bridges training with broader impact activities and could serve to be a model in connecting biodiversity research and broadening the human resource. Chief goals of the proposed meeting includes: i) providing an overview of the project to educators; ii) share the outcome of pilot studies undertaken at Wilbur Wright College; iii) work towards developing and refining content for Service to Science and Service Learning (SL) programs; and iv) developing and refining digital learning content, particularly refining the protocol and documentation used in the pilot study for various learning levels.
Fifteen participants from five countries (Australia, Brazil, China, Sweden, and the USA) will meet at BioSynC for three days. The participants include seasoned taxonomists/systematists of Asiloidea, but also three undergraduate and five graduate students from Australia, Brazil, and the USA. The meeting is co-funded by BioSynC and the NSF REVSYS grant of BioSynC researcher Torsten Dikow.
This proposed synthesis meeting on Asiloidea flies is aimed at bringing the small community of researchers, including students, with an active interest in asiloid flies together in order to (1) introduce cybertaxonomic tools that enhance the workflow in revisionary taxonomy, (2) promote the active contribution of taxonomic research to public, online databases, and (3) to develop a list of Asiloidea species needed for next-generation genome sequencing projects. Asiloidea flies comprise some 16,000 species known to science today, which represents approximately 10% of the entire diversity of true flies (Diptera), from around the world. The meeting will showcase tools for taxonomists to allow them to efficiently make information about these flies available in automated ways and therefore enhance the taxonomic output and online visibility of species of Asiloidea world-wide. Furthermore, by planning the collection of species for next-generation sequencing, Asiloidea flies will be on the forefront of new phylogenomic research within Diptera.
Photo Credit: Torsten Dikow, The robber fly Trichardis picta photographed in the Namib Desert, Namibia.
This meeting is a second in a series of two meetings devoted to this lichen family. The goals of this follow-up meeting from a very successful first meeting in Chicago (see http://www.lichenology.org/Publications/ILN/ILN43_1.pdf) are to further coordinate efforts to study the evolution and biodiversity of Parmeliaceae and disseminate accumulating knowledge, and use this as a model for similar studies in other families of lichenized fungi.