Download the original photo
Andrew Bentley
Collection Manager
Ichthyology
Informatics
Biodiversity Institute

Specify Software Usability Lead

Contact Information

Office Phone: 
785.864.3863
Building: 
Dyche Hall

Recent Blog Posts

March 25, 2011
A week before the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, an omen washed up on its...

Marine fishes of the Indo-Pacific

Wet collection standards and protocols

Dangerous goods shipping for natural history collections

Ichthyology Collection Management

Education

  • MSc – Zoology; The ecology of the sand dollar, Echinodiscus bisperforatus. University of Port Elizabeth, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (1991 - 1996).
  • BSc (Hons) – Zoology; University of Port Elizabeth, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (1990 - 1991).
  • BSc (Zoology); Majors - Zoology, Complementary Biological Sciences and Genetics. University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. (1985 - 1988).
 

Academic Appointments

Current Appointments

Collection Manager
Ichthyology
Informatics
Biodiversity Institute

Specify Software Usability Lead

Previous Appointments

South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) (Jan 1997 – Jan 2001) Somerset Street, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa

Collections Manager - Ichthyology


University of Port Elizabeth (UPE) (1992) Walmer Boulevard, Port Elizabeth, 6000, South Africa

Laboratory technician - Zoology department

Professional Positions

Kansas African Studies Center, University of Kansas

  • Affiliate Faculty

Professional Societies

American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH)

Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC)

Natural Science Collections Alliance (NSCA)
 

Awards

Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) President's Award for outstanding service to the Society

 

OTHER

Bioinformatics/database and web design:

  • Experience in hardware setup and repair
  • Database design and utility with special emphasis on natural history database applications in
  • Access, SQL server and MySQL
  • Specify collection management software usability and design
  • Network setup and utility
  • Software – Mac, Linux, Windows, MS Office suite, Adobe Photoshop, GIS software (Arcview,
  • TNTMips), networking and HTML homepage design.

Database administrator

  • Administer, repair, test and upgrade SAIAB Specify database
  • KUNHM database specialist – setup of database utilities and web accessibility for individual divisional Specify databases.

Geographical Information Systems:

  • An Introduction to GIS for Earth and Life Sciences; GEODATEC, Grahamstown, South Africa: TNTMips


Research and field work:

  • Fish identification; sub- and intertidal fish and tissue collections using rotenone on SCUBA for SAIAB and KUNHM (South Africa, Namibia, Seychelles, Saipan, El Salvador, United States).
  • Research vessel trawl collections (NMFS Gulf cruise).
  • Invertebrate research and identification.
  • Assisted with projects associated with the Zoology Department, University of Port Elizabeth involving collection of specimens and data from the entire spectrum of habitats – terrestrial and marine – sub-tidal and surf-zone, beach, estuary and rocky shore.

Teaching experience:

  • University of Kansas African Studies - Afrikaans
  • University of Kansas Museum studies – Topics in Curation and Collection Management
  • (MUSE 710) - Fall 2002, 2003 and 2008.
  • University of Port Elizabeth, Port Elizabeth, South Africa 2nd and 3rd year undergraduate
  • laboratory practical classes. 1992

SCUBA certification:

  • Nitrox Diver, Durban, South Africa (1999)
  • Scientific Divers Course (Class IV - Supervisor), Port Elizabeth, South Africa (1994)
  • Scientific Divers Course (Class IV), Port Elizabeth, South Africa (1991)
  • Openwater I, Johannesburg, South Africa (1988)

Skipper’s certification:

  • Diving boat skipper (Class A III (1)), Port Elizabeth, South Africa (1990)

First Aid certification:

  • St. John's Ambulance First Aid Level 1, Port Elizabeth, South Africa (1991)
March 25, 2011

A week before the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, an omen washed up on its beaches. The appearance of the oarfish, a ribbon-like, deep sea fish has long been perceived as a warning that seismic activity is on the way. This fish has become a feature of speculation as to whether they can be used to predict an incoming earthquake.

 

An 1860 drawing of an oarfish

 

There are many news reports that speculate on the issue, as well as impressive photos of this critter, which can reach lengths in excess of 50 feet:

The Star, Newser.com, A11news, Yahoo News

The important message here is that so little is known about the habits, breeding, biology, and ecology of these fishes – and deep water species in general. It is difficult to say what they are reacting to – small tremors signaling a larger quake to come, poisonous gases released by shifting tectonic plates or perhaps water temperatures affected by subtle movements in these plates. So little is known about deep water fish species due to the difficulty involved in studying them in their natural environment. They do not survive long (or act erratically/unusually) in shallow water, making it difficult to glean anything about their behavior based on these shallow water sightings. Their natural environment, depths below 1000 feet, is the place to study them, only possibly by using submersible or Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV’s) but these tools are very expensive and not very numerous.

It is estimated that we have only described about a quarter to half of the species in the deep oceans. Who knows what lives down there and what sort of interactions they have with their deep water environment, as well as what sort of future events they may be able to sense before we know anything about them?
It is also interesting that local folklore (dismissed or ignored by many in the scientific community) says that these fish appearing in shallow water signal not only an earthquake, but also a good catch! These two are likely related in that tremors or earthquakes will scare or force deep water fish into the shallows.
 

0 comments
There are no additional posts.

From the Biodiversity Insitute blog

January 3, 2010
I'm currently enjoying a breakfast sandwich and a tall Americano at the Starbucks near our hotel in Manila. Luke has just called Rafe from the town of Solano (about seven hours north of Manila). The...
January 1, 2010
Today we took a walk through old Manila and visited the National Museum. I've included a photo, below, of Jeepney. They're one of the most interesting things I see around Manila. They are a converted...
December 31, 2009
A major Midwest snowstorm during the Christmas holiday delayed the 36-hour journey for our intrepid herpetology team, but we eventually made our way from snowy Lawrence to the Kansas City airport....
December 29, 2009
Over winter break, Herpetology curator Rafe Brown is leading a team of KU students to the Philippines.  The group's research will help scientists better understand the biodiversity of the...
December 28, 2009
Hello! I am a new graduate student in Herpetology at the KU Biodiversity Institute. I am interested in studying the evolutionary history, biogeography and morphology of frogs from Southeast Asia...
November 25, 2009
I arrived in Moorea on a Saturday morning and quickly settled into the lab and accommodations. On my first afternoon I went out collecting with Dr. Arthur Anker and Ms. Sarah McPherson (both of the...
November 25, 2009
Moorea is one of many islands making up the Society Islands in French Polynesia, an overseas collective of France. The official language is French although Tahitian is spoken by many people in the...
November 16, 2009
    Preparations for fieldwork start many months before your planned departure.  After choosing where you want to do fieldwork you must start applying for permits you may be...
November 13, 2009
    Andrea Crowther is a graduate student at KU and is interested in the taxonomy, biology, and evolutionary relationships of sea anemones.  Andrea’s doctoral research...
September 3, 2009
From KUCR.... STUDENT TRAVEL FELLOWHIPS AVAILABLE TO ATTEND "GENES IN ECOLOGY, ECOLOGY IN GENES" SYMPOSIUM The Ecological Genomics Institute (www.ecogen.k-state.edu ) at Kansas State...

Galleries