March 19 is Taxonomist Appreciation Day. Unsung and often misunderstood, taxonomists work in the scientific shadows yet perform research that’s critical to the monitoring and effective management of biodiversity. In this post, we hope to convince you that taxonomists not only deserve a day of appreciation, but are absolutely essential to understanding our natural world. [...]
All posts in Taxonomy
For the Love of Bugs – Cheryl Tebby, Aquatic Invertebrate Taxonomist
February 11 is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. To celebrate, all February, we’ll be sharing the stories of some of the many women+ at the ABMI who have shaped our organization with their experience, expertise, and dedication. We are inspired by their hard work and the legacy that they are leaving [...]
Lichen block party: get to know your neighbours
Despite the millions of potential observers in cities, urban lichens are understudied. A recent blockbuster paper helps Edmontonians get to know their neighbours. It includes a detailed checklist of species found in the city, images of each species, local distribution maps, and identification keys. This inventory was the first step to establishing a local biomonitoring [...]
Antifreeze and sunblock: How mosses survive an Alberta winter
The following is a guest post from Krista Williams, bryologist with the ABMI. In case you missed it, check out Krista’s recent webinar on the wonderful world of bryophytes here. Meantime, here’s another reminder of why these tiny plants are so a-moss-ing… Mosses are peculiar little plants—barely noticeable yet incredibly intriguing. They lack many of [...]
Join us for an a-moss-ing webinar!
Mosses are easily overlooked, but they’re hugely important to Alberta’s ecosystems. From filtering water and serving as food and habitat to better-known species, to maintaining soil and—in some places—even outstripping the primary productivity of the forest canopy far above, these tiny, unsung plants are full of surprises. On November 3rd @ noon Mountain Time, join [...]
Join us for a mite-y webinar!
ABMI acarologist—that’s someone who studies mites and ticks—Dr. Lisa Lumley presented Mites in Alberta as part of our It’s Our Nature to Know webinar series. Lisa outlined the ABMI’s mite research, and why collecting data on mites in the province is important to Albertans and helps to support land-use decision making. “Oribatid mites are the [...]
Explore the wondrous world of Alberta’s lichens
On June 29, ABMI lichenologist Dr. Diane Haughland presented Lichens of Alberta, the second in our It’s Our Nature to Know webinar series. Diane studies the taxonomy and ecology of Alberta’s lichens, and her team is responsible for identifying thousands of lichens from across the province each year to help track changes in Alberta’s biodiversity. [...]
Rarity and sample bias in the secret world of lichens
A modified version of this post recently appeared as part of the ABMI’s regular feature in the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists’ newsletter, BIOS Quarterly. Here at the ABMI, we like to say that you manage what you measure—that the more we know about our living resources, the more likely we’ll be to responsibly manage [...]