It’s March 19th. A year ago, when we were just finding our bloggy footing, another newcomer to the biology blog scene made the radical proposal that on this day all biologists should take a moment to say thanks to their colleagues developing the taxonomic and systematic knowledge on which we all build our understanding of the diversity of life.
We think this is a wonderful idea!
So, thanks to Maureen, Simon, Joe, Judy, and David, our current DEB Systematics and Biodiversity Science Cluster, for serving as stewards of support to these fields.
Thanks to all those who have previously and continue to serve as Program Officers, Experts, and Administrative staff helping to manage our programs supporting taxonomy, systematics, species discovery, phylogenetics, and collections.
Thanks to the legions of reviewers who have contributed their expertise in identifying the best proposals in taxonomy and systematics for funding since the earliest days of NSF and to the PIs who are not just describing new species but pioneering new ways to do the work and share it with the scale and efficiency suited to the challenges faced by global biodiversity.
Here’s our minimally curated list of ways to honor your lumpers and splitters:
Visit your favorite species and share its naming history (#loveyourtaxonomist). (And if you don’t have a favorite species, take your cue from the inspiration for this day and learn about an ant.)
Check out the effort to create a unified index of all described species (>1.5 Million species catalogued so far)
Share some taxonomy humor, courtesy of Buzz Hoot Roar.
Got some time on your hands? Notes from Nature is enlisting volunteers to transcribe physical specimen labels into digitally accessible information.
And, for those of you with no taxonomic background whatsoever, check out this plain-language overview the field, its importance, and the global challenges to the development and preservation of taxonomic knowledge from the Convention on Biological Diversity, Global Taxonomic Initiative.
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