Support parataxonomists!

I found this article about parataxonomists in Costa Rica and Papua New Guinea in Science today: Uncertain Future for Tropical Ecology

These people are locals but usually way better taxonomists than most of the foreign scientists who go there (e.g. me ;-)). They do amazing work, and could for example help Angie identify trees this field season. I also love the idea because it engages local communities and helps build relationships between conservation areas and the people who essentially live in or around them. Unfortunately, many of these programs are facing budget problems right now. So if you have a rich grandmother or cousin: get them to support parataxonomists!

This is a picture of Calixto Moraga, one of the parataxonomists working for Dan Janzen at Pitilla, doing a guided tour for US undergrads during our last field trip:

Random ball games

Thank god, someone with an intuitive example (at least to the average North American male) for why species abundance distributions might not mean a thing:
Universal Ecological Patterns in College Basketball Communities.
There are others in this earlier paper, e.g. the compositional similarity of global cuisine ingredient lists over space, garden seed offerings and Cowboy Junkies song performances over time. Hail to thee, creative scientists with opinions!


Just thinking about science and why I do it, I really liked this article:
Of course scientists can communicate
….especially I liked that we are apparently “divinely intoxicated” by science, haha, that’s easy in this department! And “…science, don’t you see, is really about uncertainty”! Awesome, yes, just like life in general!…… I seem drunk?

Thanks bromeliaders!

The end of the workshop has come, let the collaborations begin! We have learned a lot in the last few days (for example that ants grow bromeliads professionally in French Guiana and that Argentinian bromeliads look beautiful with under a blanket of snow). And I am sure we will do the most awesome joint analyses and global experiments ever. Thanks everybody for making this workshop a big success!

Foto: Olga Martinez