School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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Why is Rudolp's nose red?

Cybertaxonomy

The race is on. It is one where biologists and citizen scientists are working as quickly as possible to find and identify all the species on Earth before some go extinct. It might not seem like an important race, but we learn from entomologist Kelly Miller that not knowing what species we are losing might be more important than we think. Today scientists combine traditional and newer computer tools to speed up the search. These combined tools are part of the world of cybertaxonomy.

Content Info | Transcript


MP3 download | 15MB

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Topic Time
Introduction 00:00
What is taxonomy and why is it important? 01:30
How many species have we discovered and ordered? 02:06
Why is is important to discover and catalogue species before they go extinct? 02:55
Mining species - for drugs [Nature's Medicine] 03:31
Citizen Scientist 03:59
What do you need to do when collecting a specimens? 04:40
Do you have to collect the specimen, or will a photo do? 05:18
What do you do after you collect a specimen? [make your own plant press] 06:07
How do species get their names? 06:57
Why names are so important. [Planet Bob Video] 07:51
Cybertaxonomy 08.22
Using GPS to mark the location where specimens were collected. 09:11
Using Google Earth to enter GPS information. 10:20
Other tools for taxonomy. 10:43
Expeditions - collecting insects. 11:16
Do you have to travel to far away places to find new species? 12:14
Do you have a favorite expedition? [lion story] 13:00
What insects do you collect and study? 14:11
Scanning photography - a new tool for entomologists. 17:02
Why are illustrations important if we can take photographs? 18:26
Part of discovering a new species is you get to give them a name. 19:43
Back to cybertaxonomy. 21:50
What would the museum of the future look like? 23:12
Spida-web - the future of cybertaxonomy 25:03
Three questions 26:06
When did you know you wanted to be a biologist? 26:15
What would you do if you could not be biologist/entomologist? 27:53
What advice do you have for someone who wants to become a biologist? 29:16
Sign-off. [learn more - Linnaeus & Taxonomy - Making the List] 30:59

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Cybertaxonomy

Audio editor: CJ Kazilek

Whirligig beetle from India named Orectochilus orbisonorum.

Whirligig beetle (Orectochilus orbisonorum) from India. Click the image to check out its two pairs of eyes.

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Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.

dropdown arrow downdropdown arrow up  Learn More

Whirligig beetle from India named Orectochilus orbisonorum.

Whirligig beetle (Orectochilus orbisonorum) from India. Click the image to check out its two pairs of eyes.

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.