General information and editorial notes
News and Notes:
Summary of the Meeting of the Scientific
Committee for the Biological Survey of Canada (Terrestrial Arthropods),
The Scientific Committee met in Canmore, Alberta, on
November 5, 2005. Because of budget restrictions this was an abbreviated
meeting and some members were not able to attend.
The Scientific Committee met in Canmore, Alberta, on November 5, 2005. Because of budget restrictions this was an abbreviated meeting and some members were not able to attend.
Most chapters for the book on ecology and interactions in grassland habitats have been submitted. The outstanding chapters should be submitted by the end of 2005. Dr. Wheeler will be communicating with all authors in the near future. Potential authors for the second volume on arthropods in altered grasslands will be approached once the first volume is in production.
2. BSC e-journal of Arthropod Identification
3. Terrestrial arthropods of Newfoundland and Labrador
4. Forest arthropods
5. Insects of the Arctic
6. Seasonal adaptations
7. Invasions and reductions
Progress on the specific project on coccinellids in the context of invasive species was reported. For now, this project is proceeding with people in individual regions publishing independently. Some forthcoming publications may stimulate interest in this project.
Other scientific priorities
1. Survey web site
The number of visitors to the BSC web site continues to increase. Routine maintenance and updates continue to be done including posting all newsletters and updating the synopsis of forest arthropod biodiversity projects (which now includes a section for projects in the northern U.S.).
The site is in the process of being redesigned and reorganized. In addition to giving the look of the site a minor facelift the focus has been on reorganizing the menu structure of the site to be more logical and with clearer labels. The revised pages will be posted when all translations and technical issues have been resolved.
2. Survey publicity
3. Arthropods and fire
The symposium on arthropods and fire at the ESC meeting went well. A subcommittee, chaired by Dr. Chris Buddle, was struck to investigate the feasibility of producing a publication that would include the proceedings from the conference as well as additional papers and a synthesis.
4. Arthropods of the Gulf of St. Lawrence Islands
The BSC's database of important historic collecting localities continues to be compiled.
6. Biodiversity sampling brief
7. Other priorities
Liaison and exchange of information
Due to the location and abbreviated nature of this meeting representatives from other agencies were not able to attend. However, a written report about activities at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada was received from Dr. Jean-François Landry.
Dr. Barry Grace is acting National Science Director for the Biodiversity Theme, to which all taxonomists working at the CNC belong. Two new research scientists (a phytophagous mite systematist and a plant nematode systematist) are expected to be hired by January 2006. Funding from a 5-year AAFC National Land and Water Information System (NLWIS) initiative will allow the hiring of six people to database entomology, botany, and mycology collections, initially focusing on invasive alien species. A Biodiversity Informatics Research Biologist will be hired to supervise system customization and data entry personnel involved in databasing the CNC through the NLWIS initiative.
Dr. Don Bright has been retired for some time from his research position on bark beetles at the CNC and will be moving permanently to Boulder, Colorado. Under an agreement with AAFC, he will maintain a responsibility for providing bark beetle identifications on an ad-hoc basis. Mr. Jim Troubridge is the new collection manager at CNC. In this new position he will be responsible for overseeing maintenance of the collection, processing of donations and acquisitions, and supply procurement.
There are plans to purchase a new high-end imaging system system before March 31, 2006. This will be a much awaited, badly needed tool for CNC systematists, whose need for high-quality digital photos requires an efficient system for capturing and processing images.
Production of new volumes in the Insects and Arachnids of Canada handbook series is continuing. The Histeridae of Canada by Bousquet and Laplante is currently in press and publication is expected before the end of 2005. The Root Weevils of Canada by Bright and Bouchard is accepted for publication with expected publication in 2006. The Ticks of Canada by Lindquist, Galloway et al. is accepted with expected publication also in 2006. Dr. Pat Bouchard and Dr. Yves Bousquet are working on a handbook of the Tenebrionidae of Canada, a project still in early draft stage. Dr. Ales Smetana continues to work on the multi-authored catalogue series of Palaearctic Coleoptera. Dr. Landry has completed a catalogue of the world Coleophoridae, co-authored with two European lepidopterists.
AAFC is one of the partners in the Barcoding of Life project, based at the University of Guelph, which includes many other players, with scientists focusing on different groups of organisms. Lafontaine, Landry and Troubridge are working closely with Paul Hebert on the Lepidoptera. Results are already very useful for working taxonomy in allowing correct sex and immature stage associations, discovering cryptic species, and confirming suspected sibling species pairs. Building a comprehensive barcode library will take several years.
1. Canadian Museum of Nature
Funds are restricted within the CMN, because of exhibit and other commitments, leading to the current abbreviated meeting without expenses for participants. Other activities may also have to be deferred.
The CMN organized an all day workshop in Ottawa during October to discuss potential development of the BSC, attended by government representatives, members of the Alliance of Natural History Museums, and scientific society representatives.
2. Other matters
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