January 27, 2009

The wrap-up begins

The coffee is good here in the museum, but I think it would take about 8 of these to fill my normal office mug.


Back in Maracaibo, we’ve been resting and wrapping up loose ends now that the main expedition of the trip is over. I’ve spent the last two days cleaning and preparing our samples for transit. In total, we have collected at 50 different localities, making more than 150 separate ecological collections. It’s hard to even estimate how many specimens we have, but it probably ranges well over 100,000. Considering that is entirely from hand-collecting (e.g. not bulk trapping, etc.), that is quite a bolus indeed, and I think we are all excited about the overall success of the collecting. A Colombian graduate student from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota arrived for the week to get some hands-on training in identifying water beetles and will participate in a last 2-day foray of collecting. We’ll all leave tomorrow morning around 6am to do some more work in the Serrania de Perija, the mountains we collected in the very first day I was here.

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About Fieldnotes

The Biodiversity Institute is home to about 60 graduate students and 30 research scientists and curators. They participate in field expeditions to all seven continents and represent areas such as entomology, ornithology, paleontology, parasitology and herpetology. As the authors of this blog, they share their experiences and adventures in collections-based biological research all over the world.

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