REVSYS: SYSTEMATICS OF THE
SCORPION FAMILY VAEJOVIDAE
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REVSYS Project Meetings

Between 17–21 March, 2005, five REVSYS project participants (Prendini, Sissom, Savary, Francke, and González) gathered at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) for the first organizational and project planning meeting. The meeting included visits to the Ambrose Monell Cryocollection, the Molecular Systematics Laboratory, and the specimen collections of the AMNH. Demonstrations of software for specimen databasing, georeferencing, mapping and GIS were delivered by Randall T. Schuh, PI of the NSF-funded PBI Miridae project (http://research.amnh.org/pbi/index.html), AMNH Postdoctoral Associates Erich S. Volschenk and Camilo I. Mattoni, and REVSYS Ph.D. student Edmundo González. Schuh and PBI Research Assistant Sheridan Hewson-Smith demonstrated the PBI Mirid website and online specimen database developed in consultation with REVSYS PI Lorenzo Prendini. Volschenk demonstrated software for generating automated descriptions and identification keys. Demonstrations and discussions of cladistic software were provided by Mattoni, Volschenk, and Prendini. A two-day workshop on Coding and Homology of Morphological Characters in Scorpions was conducted thereafter.

Two meetings were held in year 2 of the grant. Between 20–23 October 2005, five REVSYS project participants (Prendini, Sissom, Francke, Savary, and González) gathered at the AMNH for the second project meeting. The state of the budget and progress with the acquisition of molecular and morphological data were assessed, plans for summer fieldwork discussed, specimens from past fieldwork identified, and improvements to the website suggested. A two-day workshop was held on Coding and Homology of Morphological Characters in Vaejovidae during which all vaejovid characters were discussed and a strategy for scoring them in a list of exemplar species approved.

The same five project participants reconvened at the AMNH for the third meeting during 12–16 January 2006. Progress with the acquisition of molecular and morphological data was again assessed and a need to revise the strategy for scoring morphological data discussed and approved. Additional specimens from past fieldwork were identified, and further improvements to the website suggested. Problems with the flow of specimens and implementation of the specimen database were also discussed. The need for and layout of a standardized data collection sheet and barcoded unique lot identifiers was approved. The remainder of the meeting was devoted to the coding and homology of morphological characters in Vaejovidea.

 Remaining meetings were individualized. During 27 September–2 October, 2007, Co-PI W. David Sissom visited the AMNH for 1 week to work with PI Prendini and Ph.D. student Edmundo González identifying and prioritizing samples for sequencing and scoring characters for the project. During October 2009, collaborator Oscar Francke visited the AMNH for 1 week to continue identifying and prioritizing samples for sequencing, followed by his Ph.D. student, Carlos Santibanez in November 2009.

Additional communication was achieved during shared fieldwork and through innumberable emails and phone calls, which continue to this day.

 


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