thinkspatial_logoOn Tuesday, October 18th, 2016 The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents

The informative bug: A case study defining areas of endemism

Katja Seltmann

Director, Cheadle Center for
Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration

University of California, Santa Barbara

12:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 18, 2016 | 3512 Phelps Hall (map)


Fig. 1 Miridae hosts and distributions.Abstract. It is thought to be difficult to study insects. Identification is not trivial and the majority of them are smaller than comfortably seen without assistance from a good microscope. In this talk, I hope to demonstrate that large amounts of highly interesting data about insects, and where they live, is already available through ongoing efforts to digitally capture specimen data found in natural history collections. Many of these specimens have high quality locality data, although some challenges exist to making these ready for research.

In a recent paper, my co-authors and I used about 1,399 species of insects to define the areas of endemism (i.e. areas defined by the congruent distribution of species) for North America. We compare our results with a similar study using mammals and find that insects are an excellent group to study in this context because they combine high species diversity, a history of modern taxonomic revisions, comprehensive electronic data capture, and often small distribution ranges.

12439290_10208034183565993_6091010502700048541_nBio. Katja Seltmann is the Director of the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER) at University of California Santa Barbara. CCBER houses a large, regionally focused collections of plants, algae, insects and vertebrates. Her research focus is the field of biodiversity informatics, or data science research of digitized natural history collection records, arthropod diversity in restoration habitats and insect evolution.

The objectives of the ThinkSpatial brown-bag presentations are to exchange ideas about spatial perspectives in research and teaching, to broaden communication and cooperation across disciplines among faculty and graduate students, and to encourage the sharing of tools and concepts.

Please contact Werner Kuhn (805-893-8224, to review and schedule possible discussion topics or presentations that share your disciplinary interest in spatial thinking.

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