REU: Insect Survey of a Megadiverse Country Phase II: Columbia

  • Sharkey, Michael (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


I am requesting funding for 2 undergraduate students, both of whom have been employed in my lab in the past. Each will be given а major research project. Senior undergraduate student, Dan Crowdus, will continue to incorporate data into my website ( . His duties will include adding images to inteactive keys and developing interactive keys to the species of Bassus, Coccygidium, and Cenocoeliinae and of Colombia. А second student, Ryan Reed, will sort braconid specimens from the Colombian samples and mount and label these. He will then send these to our many braconid collaborators, e.g., Achterberg, Whitfield, Valerio, Shaw, Quicke, Braet. Ryan is already able to sort braconids to subfamily and to recognize our target genera. Dan Crowdus is skilled at developing keys with the software INTKEY and DELTA and with capturing images with my new automontage digital camera setup, but will need close supervision when it comes to identifying character states and specimens. Another of the major tasks of Ryan Reed?s will be to convert all of our locality data on the Colombian web site to a program that is more universal and that will facilitate the incorporation of locality data from around the world. This will involve using many more base maps. The user can then select the area of the world of interest rather than just Colombia and this will allow the incorporation of all of our braconids locality data and it will insure that the Colombian database does not become obsolete when the NSF project terminates. Rather it will be part of a larger whole. The aforementioned research projects will take priority but both students will also have numerous other responsibilities that are all part of the foundation of taxonomic study. These secondary tasks will include the following: 1, chemically dry, mount, and label specimens of Braconidae from the Colombian insect survey. 2, identify Hymenoptera to the family level. 3, identify Braconidae to the subfamily level. 4, enter Colombian species records into the on-line database. 5, develop and maintain the website. Both students have been trained on the departments SEM and they will be using this periodically tom assist in manuscript preparation. Dan Crowdus has been an importanty assistant in my lab for several years and has developed many of the electronic products for the Colombian project. This is his last summer with me and one of his most important duties will be to transfer his knowledge to Ryan for the stability and continuity of the lab.
Effective start/end date3/29/049/30/05


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