TIGER: Thailand Inventory Group for Entomological Research

  • Sharkey, Michael (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


PROJECT SUMMARY We propose to survey target arthropod groups in Thailand, one ofthe most biologically diverse countries in the world, and one that is poorly sampled for insect life. We intend to sample the insect fauna of 30 of Thailand's National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries employing three Malaise traps, four Winkler extractors, and a flight intercept trap with yellow pans traps placed flush with the ground below it and in each area. The Malaise traps will be moved within the park every 3-4 months to maximize diversity. Samples will be sent to one of three regional forest entomology labs in Thailand for sorting to the ordinal level. They will then be sent to QSBG for sorting to lower levels. Here we will have one sorter for each of the largest focal orders, i.e., Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, and Diptera. Preparation will be taxon dependent and will range from sorting to family level in alcohol to mounting and labeling specimens. PI Sharkey will travel to Thailand twice every year to train, manage, and to collect the material. Co-PIs Brown and Ashe will travel once per year for the same purposes. Coleoptera will be distributed from Ashe's lab, Diptera from Brown's lab, and all other taxa from Sharkey's lab. The timing is opportunistic because there has recently been an addition to the Thai Forest Entomology and Microbiology Group ofthe Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation. The charge of this new group is to survey and document arthropod biodiversity of public lands and as such they have the cooperation of, and access to collaboration, in all National Forests, National Parks, and National Conservation areas. These areas number more than 200 and cover 10 million hectares, more than 20% of the country. Our Thai collaborator, Dr. Chaweewan Hutacharern is the head of this group and therefore we are poised to have access to a great portion of Thailand's biodiversity. Broader Impacts and Intellectual Merit There will be numerous educational activities directly and indirectly associated with the project. Undergraduate students will be employed in all PI labs, and some will do small species-level revisions, a graduate student will be trained in Sharkey's lab, and numerous US graduate students affiliated with our collaborators will receive specimens that will be of direct importance to their revisionary research. Four NSF Assembling the Tree of Life projects (Diptera, Hymenoptera, Formicidae, and Araneae) are signed on for specimens and will receive fresh specimens of key taxa. There are many educational aspects in Thailand, including training sessions for park and museum staff, a graduate student, and interactions with Thai Universities and government agencies. Products of the grant will be disseminated broadly through traditional publications, databases, and web products, which will be written in both Thai and English using the Colombian NSF website as a template. Bridges between the international scientific community and Thailand will be built to the mutual benefit of both, and the resulting research will be of importance to Thai conservation research, systematics, and the many applied sciences that depend on good taxonomy such as biological control. Products will include checklists, interactive keys, and bigger and better collections. Though these are not trivial results, we also intend to build contacts with the international scientific community; technology in database management and biodiversity assessment will be transferred. A wide network of collaborators was selected by the PIs based on their active publication records, and each of these will generate products with diverse impacts on society. Page A
Effective start/end date3/1/062/28/10


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