Join us this Thursday for a talk and workshop by John Stoskopf Ascher (NUS) titled “Discovering Bee Diversity through Collecting and Digital Imaging, and Integration of Citizen Science and Professional Datasets via Online Biodiversity Portals”
John S. Ascher’s research focuses on the taxonomy, distribution, and ecology of bees and wasps. He joined NUS-DBS as an assistant professor in June of 2013, is a Research Associate of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), and received his Ph.D. in Entomology from Cornell University, 2004. In 2005 he initiated at the AMNH collaborative digitization of label data for bee specimens across more than ten collections using web-based software. These data are shared online through the biodiversity portal Discover Life which maps them together with verified citizen science records. In addition to working extensively with museum collections he also identifies bees and wasps to species based on photos submitted by the community to Bugguide and other online image databases.This talk will demonstrate how diverse datasets, documented with both physical and virtual vouchers and submitted by both professional researchers and amateurs contribute to discovery of bee pollinators and status assessments for these. He will also discuss opportunities and challenges for those collecting bees and other insects abroad, based in part on his expeditions to countries such as Ecuador, China, and Turkey.