Where are all the systematists?

Petra Sierwald sierwald at FIELDMUSEUM.ORG
Tue Jun 18 13:17:17 CDT 2002

Dear Colleagues,

Despite extensive, sometimes heated, discussion of the Biodiversity Crisis, a
main aspect of biodiversity itself (the number of species and how to recognize
them) is a poorly known parameter.  This is not surprising, since the number of
systematists has dwindled. We were asked to explore the role Museums take in
training the new generation of systematists.  The results will be presented at 
ICSEB VI (International Congress of Systematic and Evolutionary Biology) in
We would like to hear from Museums around the world. We will greatly appreciate
if you  reply to the questions below and send the response back to one of us
(psierwald at fieldmuseum.org).  
In return, we will post a summary of our findings on <Taxacom> in the fall of
this year.

1.      How many graduate students/postdocs have you mentored during your
so far?

2.      For how many of these were you the primary advisor?

3.      How many of these achieved positions (Museums, Universities) allowing
them to pursue systematics in their chosen taxonomic group?

4.      List the fields of the graduate students/postdocs: Vertebrates,
Invertebrates, Green Plants, Fungi, Microbes?

5.      During your own graduate work, did you spend considerable time at a
museum working in the collection?

6.      During your own graduate/postdoctoral work were you mentored by a

7.      Is your Museum directly affiliated with a university?

If you have data for other sections in your museum, we would greatly appreciate
your replies below. 

1.      How many graduate students, working on systematic thesis-projects, have
recently been residents in your museums?

2.      How many of these students work closely with or are being mentored by a
museum research staff member?

3.      For how many of these students is a museum research staff members the
primary thesis advisor?

4.      How many postdoctoral fellows in systematics are currently in residence
at your museum?

5.      List the fields of the graduate students/postdocs: Vertebrates,
Invertebrates, Green Plants, Fungi, Microbes?

Thank you so very much for your replies.

We will post a summary of our results no later than November 2002.

With best regards

Petra Sierwald & RĂ¼diger Bieler


Petra Sierwald, Assistant Curator - Zoology, Insects                    
Field Museum of Natural History, 1400 S Lake Shore Drive                
Chicago, IL 60605, USA.                                                 
E-mail: <psierwald at fieldmuseum.org>
Phone: (312) 665-7744; Fax: (312) 665-7754                              

Rudiger Bieler -- Chairman, Department of Zoology
Field Museum of Natural History, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive,
Chicago, IL 60605-2496, U.S.A
E-mail <bieler at fieldmuseum.org> 
Phone +1(312) 665-7720; Fax +1(312) 665-7754

Museum web page: <http://www.fieldmuseum.org>

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