Navigation Links
UC Riverside entomologist to oversee centralized database of bee specimens
Date:6/30/2010

RIVERSIDE, Calif. Even though there are more than 19,000 bee species worldwide more than 1,000 bee species are in California alone no single central repository for information about them exists.

That difficulty and inconvenience will be addressed, however, when Douglas Yanega, the senior museum scientist in the Department of Entomology at the University of California, Riverside, and colleagues begin digitizing and consolidating nearly one million specimen records from ten bee collections across the United States an endeavor made possible by a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation, of which UC Riverside will receive nearly $148,000 each year.

"Bees are the most important pollinators of the approximately one-third of crops that require animal pollination," said Yanega, co-principal investigator of the grant. "Recent declines in honey bee populations highlight the need to understand better the roles of native bees in agricultural and natural systems. This project will help predict risks to bees and their pollination services from climate change, habitat loss, and other factors."

Yanega and his colleagues, many of whom are trained taxonomists, will make or verify species identifications, capture full label data, georeference and error-check localities, and upload this information to publicly accessible databases. The primary public interface for the data from all of the collaborating collections will be the Discover Life Website http://www.discoverlife.org/.

"The collective knowledge represented by museum specimens is one of the greatest biological resources in existence, but without databases, this knowledge is accessible only in tiny pieces, to only a handful of specialists," Yanega said. "Insect collections such as UCR's contain specimens dating back more than 200 years, often from habitats that have long since vanished. The picture of biological and ecological history that emerges from studying millions of specimens is impossible to imagine or obtain without first databasing those specimens."

UCR and the American Museum of Natural History, which is also being funded through the same grant, are the primary institutions collaborating on the project. Other partners are UC Davis, UC Berkeley, the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum, the California State Collection of Arthropods, Utah State University, Cornell University, Rutgers University, and the University of Connecticut.

In order to database the bee specimens, Yanega and his colleagues first will capture as much data as they can on each specimen, then they will clean these data to make them intelligible and decipherable.

"This is crucial because the original specimen labels are typically incomplete, ambiguous, or even incorrect," Yanega said.

He explained that before a specimen can be databased, taxonomists need to be confident that the identification of each specimen is accurate, a step that requires an expert bee taxonomist to confirm that each specimen does indeed belong to the species it is registered under in a given collection.

"It would be a major problem if the records for one species such as a species on the verge of extinction, as many of our native bees are are mixed up with the records for species that are not threatened," Yanega said. "Such mix-ups could prevent the proper conservation of threatened species, or create imaginary threats where none actually exist. We want the science to truthfully inform the decision-making public, not misinform them."

At UCR, the grant will support, besides Yanega, a data entry technician. Yanega expects ecologists will use the data from the project to model geographic and temporal trends in bee populations, including California's vanishing bumblebee species.


'/>"/>

Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
iqbal@ucr.edu
951-827-6050
University of California - Riverside
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. UC Riverside biologist receives prestigious MacArthur Fellowship
2. UC-Riverside partners with Chinese university to address Chinas environmental problems
3. Chemicals used as fire retardants could be harmful, UC-Riverside researchers say
4. UC Riverside to host conference on stricter air quality standards for Southern California
5. UC Riverside bioengineer receives high honor from chemical engineers
6. Tahitian vanilla originated in Maya forests, says UC Riverside botanist
7. UC Riverside botanist to study role of plants in southern Californias drought
8. UC Riverside biochemists devise method for bypassing aluminum toxicity effects in plants
9. Vitamin D a key player in overall health of several body organs, says UC Riverside biochemist
10. UC Riverside scientist to explore how vegetation affects urban heat islands
11. UC Riverside rice geneticist receives high honor from US Department of Agriculture
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
UC Riverside entomologist to oversee centralized database of bee specimens
(Date:1/31/2017)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. , Jan. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... develop novel therapies for the treatment of bacterial ... generation set of antibacterial candidates from Pro Bono ... the increased prevalence of multi-drug resistant forms of ... by Cantab Anti Infectives Ltd, a PBB group ...
(Date:1/26/2017)... , Jan. 26, 2017  Acuity Market Intelligence ... Biometrics and Digital Identity".  Acuity characterizes 2017 as ... when increased adoption reflects a new understanding of ... "Biometrics and digital identity are often perceived ... Maxine Most , Principal of Acuity Market intelligence. ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... , Jan. 24, 2017  It sounds ... baby,s sock that monitors vital signs and alerts ... an infant,s oxygen saturation level drops. But pediatric ... alarm to parents, with no evidence of medical ... devices are marketed aggressively to parents of healthy ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - The Fight ... for Cancer Research (OICR) are pleased to report that ... A financing, with Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, ... include venture groups HealthCap, TPG Biotechnology Partners, and Genesys ... ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Atlanta, it seems everyone has a chance to express their ... expressive and dynamic community unlike any other. The businesses that ... With their newest salon in ... on that tradition with a unique, fresh approach to head ... the newest of 13 nationwide locations, each of them well-situated ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... 2017  Imanis Life Sciences announced today the ... vaccinia viruses for virotherapy research. These viruses are ... proprietary, vaccinia virus-based technology platform for research use. ... a partnership with Genelux to offer researchers, for ... use in research," said Dr. Kah Whye ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 23, ... ... Inc., announced today that in a published evaluation of multiple immunoassay-based threat ... U.S. Department of Energy Laboratory, PathSensors’ CANARY® biosensor threat detection technology was ...
Breaking Biology Technology: