It’s a girl! Tweaking the names of a pest fanworm group

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  • January 4, 2017
  • The largest group of fanworm species with rigid chalky (calcareous) tubes belong to the Hydroides genus, and are easily recognised thanks to the shape of their beautifully ornate tube plugs. Hydroides is economically important as its members have the potential to cover immersed marine structures with massive nuisance settlements of chalky biofouling. The best-known example […]

    How the names of organisms help to turn ‘small data’ into ‘Big Data’

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  • June 1, 2016
  • Innovation in ‘Big Data’ helps address problems that were previously overwhelming. What we know about organisms is in hundreds of millions of pages published over 250 years. New software tools of the Global Names project find scientific names, index digital documents quickly, correcting names and updating them. These advances help “Making small data big” by […]

    From Sherborn to ZooBank: Moving to the interconnected digital nomenclature of the future

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  • January 8, 2016
  • From the outside, it can seem that taxonomy has a commitment issue with scientific names. They shift for reasons that seem obscure and unnecessarily wonkish to people who simply want to use names to refer to a consistent, knowable taxon such as species, genus or family. However, the relationship between nomenclature and taxonomy, as two […]

    Novel cybercatalog of flower-loving flies suggests the digital future of taxonomy

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  • October 8, 2015
  • Charting Earth’s biodiversity is the goal of taxonomy and to do so the scientists need to create an extensive citation network based on several hundred million pages of scientific literature. By providing a novel taxonomic ‘cybercatalog’ of southern African flower-loving (apiocerid) flies, Drs. Torsten Dikow and Donat Agosti demonstrate how the network of taxonomic knowledge […]

    World-famous, yet nameless: Hybrid flowering dogwoods named by Rutgers scientists

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  • August 6, 2015
  • Garden lovers and horticulturalists now have two new species names to add to their vocabulary and memory. The world’s most commercially successful dogwood garden trees have finally received proper scientific names decades after their introduction into horticulture. The big-bracted, or flowering, dogwoods are beloved trees with cloud-like branches blossoming in early spring in white, sometimes […]