[Taxacom] The Timema Discovery Project goes public!

Doug Yanega dyanega at ucr.edu
Thu Mar 29 13:18:11 CDT 2018

Hi, everyone. Today is the big day for our formal announcement "rolling 
out" a new website for an international biological crowdsourcing effort:

*The Timema Discovery Project (TDP)

/Timema/ is an unusual genus of "stick insects" endemic to the Western 
US, and they have been the subject of a considerable amount of 
high-profile research by a number of people over the last few decades. 
Bernie Crespi (Simon Fraser Univ.), Patrik Nosil (University of 
Sheffield), Tanja Schwander (University of Lausanne), and Victor 
Soria-Carrasco (University of Sheffield) are among the primary 
investigators, and I'll be assisting them and their collaborators by 
trying to unravel the taxonomy and biogeography of this group.

To better accomplish this, we are looking to recruit both professional 
biologists and "citizen scientists" to contribute fresh specimens and/or 
data, to help fill in the many gaps in the existing information on 
genetics, morphology, phenology, feeding habits, and distribution. There 
are several undescribed species, and questions regarding existing 
species boundaries, that simply can't be addressed confidently without 
more specimens and/or data.

If you, or your friends and colleagues, live or do field work in 
*California* or *Arizona* (or bordering regions of Oregon, Nevada, and 
Baja California in Mexico), the odds are good that you can help!

The present (though possibly temporary) home of the website is at


and you can go there for more information about the project, the timemas 
themselves, the collaborators, the existing literature, and step-by-step 
instructions for the best way to gather and submit specimens to assist 
us. We were hoping to have the online key and image gallery functional 
before going public, but the /Timema/ season is now starting in the low 
desert, so we can't wait any longer!


We are considering creating a project-specific FaceBook page, but as the 
aim is to reach as broad an audience as possible, for the time being we 
hope to use the existing FaceBook pages for *BugGuide* 
(https://www.facebook.com/groups/19833784207/) and *SW US Arthropods* 
(https://www.facebook.com/groups/SWInsects/) as places where people can 
post photos and make information requests. If this proves impractical 
then we will create a stand-alone FB page.

On behalf of myself and the other TDP researchers, we very much 
appreciate any and all contributions to the project!


Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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