General information and editorial notes
News and Notes
Hugh V. Danks
In addition to its major current scientific projects ó highlighted in earlier newsletters ó including arthropods of grasslands, of Newfoundland and Labrador, of forests and of the arctic, keys to families, and seasonal adaptations, the Biological Survey of Canada (BSC) promotes a number of other scientific interests of different scale or orientation.
Developing scientific projects
An active specific component on invasions and reductions has begun with the verification of coccinellid distributions as shown by specimens in collections across the country. This work serves not only to establish a baseline of information for the future, but also supports the analysis of ongoing changes in the coccinellid fauna that might be attributable to the impact of introduced species. A more public component in this project is also being considered [contact: David McCorquodale].
A second developing project of active research deals with the Arthropods of the Gulf of St Lawrence. Study of the faunas of these offshore habitats will allow many interesting biogeographical questions to be addressed [contact: Donna Giberson].
A project on Arthropods and fire has engendered planning for a symposium on the subject to be held at the joint entomological societies meeting in 2006. [contact: Rob Roughley]
The BSC also keeps aware of developments pertaining to endangered species and of the possibility of publications of particular interest to naturalists, and expects to launch more specific projects in these areas within a few years.
The BSC now actively monitors developments with respect to databasing, given the recent proliferation of organizations offering web-based dissemination of taxonomic data. The BSC has pointed out that support is needed for the core work of systematics to provide the verified information on which these web products depend, and not just for the web interfaces which have attracted so much interest and funding.
Outreach and information
A poster documenting the BSCís work is available in electronic form, primarily to permit members of the advisory committee to promote the BSC regionally or at scientific meetings. Photographs of entomologists have also been assembled.
Recently, a BSC student award was established through the
Entomological Society of Canada (and funded as a result of BSC efforts) in
order to promote faunistic studies on Canadian arthropods.
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