Throwing the Taxonomic Baby Out with the Bathwater: Dilemmas between Taxonomy, Technology and Conservation

A Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Seminar Series featuring Carlos De La Rosa, La Selva Biological Station, Organization for Tropical Studies

Wednesday, September 25, 2013
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
1100 Terasaki Life Sciences Building


The presentation (25-35 minutes) deals with a current dilemma (and its apparent but false resolution through technology): we don't have enough taxonomic information to support effective conservation of species (especially invertebrates) while going through a major extinction event but we are not investing enough resources (actually, cutting funding and support) to academic and research programs that build taxonomic capacity, particularly in tropical areas in developing countries. Basically, at the time we need taxonomists and systematists the most, they are retiring and dying of old age without a new generation coming up and being trained to replace them.

I will use the state of taxonomy and conservation in tropical aquatic invertebrates, using Chironomidae as an example, but make the case that this is relevant and important for most groups of organisms, exploring the consequences of this trend and providing some solutions and ideas to overcome it.

Host: Phil Rundel

Refreshments will be served at 11:40 a.m.