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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/22/19 in all areas

  1. 2 points
  2. 2 points
    I appreciate your forwardness mblance. I think your experience with those programming languages will be better suited with the IT team rather than the Data Entry team. The DE team will be focused on inputting data into the explorer, which includes species names, attributions, descriptions, images, etc. that will be present in every clade in the Explorer. Not much will be done about programming on our end except if it poses a significant problem with our duties. As Steve mentioned, Emmanuel and Orwell (the IT leads) may be able to use your programming skills more, but if you're willing to help out in the manual inputting of clade information as I described above, you can certainly lend a hand. Once we get a task list of specific goals to accomplish, I'll reach out and offer you the option to help us out.
  3. 1 point
    Greetings everyone! I've started working as a volunteer in the Phylogeny Explorer Project, in Data Entry, in January and I've loved it since the beginning. I've joined due to being a science enthusiast and due to my passion of Biology. I've worked on the Lagomorpha clade for a few months and from that moment on I've started meeting and knowing a considerable amount of good and dedicated people that are passionate about what they are doing. It's an ambitious project and I'm honored for being a part of such a good and professional team that has helped me adapt and learn a lot about the project and its vision! As of now I'm the Data Entry Manager along with my fellow Gabe Stroup. There's a lot of work to be done, but with great effort and will the PEP will be very first website that presents a grand tree of life! Regarding my background, it's pretty simple. My name is João Ferreira, and I'm from Portugal. I've finished my Bachelor's Degree in Political Science in 2017, and I'm finishing my Post-Graduation in Strategy. I've always wanted to pursue Biology, but due to the low employability in my country on that field I had to pursue something else. I'm passionate about Biology, Genetics and Animal Behaviour and I try to read and stay in touch with that area of interest of mine. I'm also passionate about Philosophy and Religion (the study of it). I hope everybody who comes to the Project feels good about being part of such an amazing team and I look forward with working with everybody who has an interest in contributing to Science! Cheers!
  4. 1 point
    I am a software engineer by trade but find joy in studying cosmology, some math (I enjoy numberphile) and biology. My dad would spend hours showing me plants and such as we would hike. I like visiting zoos and now finding amazement by the deversity of life. I am hoping to spend some time helping with the software
  5. 1 point
    Welcome Joe enjoy your stay. Where always looking for volunteers.
  6. 1 point
    Scyliorhinidae (commonly known as catsharks) are probably the largest extant family of sharks, with at least 160 species in 17 genera (according to knowledge from 2014) and with new species being described every year as commercial fisheries and scientific research move into deeper waters. These cartilaginous fish can be found worldwide from tropical to arctic waters, usually near the seabed. However, our understanding of these animals is greatly limited, as many are deep sea species living below 2000m (6000 feet) depths. For instance, about a third of the species in Apristurus are known from only one scientifically described specimen and in several cases the original and only specimen has been lost. These limitations in taxonomic information have obvious repercussions in identification and classification, as certain species can be very difficult to tell apart without knowledge of very specific taxonomic details. For instance, one of the few ways to tell Scyliorhinus canicula and Scyliorhinus stellaris apart taxonomically are the size of their nasal flaps (skin folds near their nostrils), yet one species is one of the most common in the Mediterranean Sea while the other is one of the rarest. Genetic tests can obviously shed some light on the identification and classification of these animals, but that requires some form of DNA samples for analysis. Until relatively recently, most specimens where preserved in formaldehyde solutions or formalin, which damages DNA by causing single-strand breaks. Although most labs and collections (that I am aware of) seem to be transitioning specimens to either isopropyl or ethyl alcohol for the safety of both specimens and scientists/students, the damage on those old yet unique specimens has already been done, limiting the information we can get from DNA analyses. Yet, DNA analyses have been able to provide new insights on the classification of catsharks and even challenge our understanding of those animals' phylogeny. Dr Gavin Naylor runs the Chondrichthyan Tree of Life (https://sharksrays.org/), an online phylogenetic tree for all extant cartilaginous fish and the baseline from which I have been building the extant clades in the PEP. If you try to find Scyliorhinidae in Naylor's website (inside Carcharhiniformes) you will see that the clade is turning out to be polyphyletic, with genera being organized in three "Scyliorhinidae" clades: Scyliorhinidae I: Apristurus, Asymbolus, Bythaelurus, Figaro, Halaelurus, Haploblepharus, Holohalaelurus, Parmaturus. Scyliorhinidae II: Atelomycterus, Aulohalaerus, Schroederichthys Scyliorhinidae III: Cephaloscyllium, Cephalurus, Poroderma, Scyliorhinus These "temporary clades" are still flawed, but they are good starting point for a better understanding of the phylogeny and evolution of catsharks. It seems that the standard "catshark phenotype" has either been selected through convergent evolution multiple times in Carcharhiniformes or is closer to the basal phenotype of the clade from which other taxa evolved from and has been retained in certain benthic species (I still need to find more information on this). Either way, these little sharks are a bit of a phylogenetic headache when it come to placing them in a phylogenetic tree. If anyone has additional information (papers, news, presentations, videos, etc...) on these sharks and their phylogeny please share them here, as any help is welcomed when it comes to solving the issues for the classification of these mysterious marine predators.
  7. 1 point
    Hi everybody, I am a grad student at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences. I am currently part of the Shark Research & Conservation program (SRC) based off Virginia Key (https://sharkresearch.rsmas.miami.edu). I have always been fascinated with classification and encyclopedias and could not resist the opportunity to contribute to this project. So far I have entered and reviewed almost every taxa in Chondrichthyes (sharks, rays & chimeras) and I am hoping to continue entering data for these clades that passionate me personally. I have a background in marine biology and marine conservation. My goal is to specialize in sharks, hoping to (one day) get into a PhD to study Lamniformes (my personal favorites). I am also an underwater photographer and videographer particularly interested in audiovisual media to convey science. I have a small YouTube channel where I give hints on how to find marine life for non-specialist interested in having underwater wildlife encounters (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm5sLQXwzvNnDXE9cUzvCDg?view_as=subscriber). It isn't much, but I hope to be able to add more content as time goes by. Happy to be part of the team!
  8. 1 point
    Hi folks, I've been with the PEP fairly early on when we were still growing our Facebook group and helping to get the project off the ground. Most of my contributions were from expanding some clades in the Explorer like the bovids, cetaceans, xiphosurans, and a bunch of other stuff. From my experience learning how the Explorer works, I'm now helping to be one of the team leaders for the Data Entry sector. Once we have all our eggs in a row, ready to accept more people to join our Data Entry team, I and a few others will be around to show how data entry works and help answer any questions that may arise in expanding the Explorer's scope of data that will become useful in the future for scientists and hobbyists alike. I also intend to help out in other sectors of the project whenever something piques my interest. I'm based in the Salt Lake area of Utah, after going to college at Rutgers University (graduating with a bachelor's in general biology), and aside from this, I currently work with the US Forest Service in the Ogden Ranger District (at least until the end of September.) I'm also a photography hobbyist, hoping to break into wildlife photography or filmmaking someday. One can browse my work on my photography blog: GSBytePhoto.blogspot.com Thanks for reading, and I look forward to working with all of you sometime.
  9. 1 point
    Hi guys, I'm pleased to be joining this project as a Biology enthusiast, a supporter of Aron Ra, and a data wiz. I have a computer science / IT background with experience transforming and modeling trees as well as exploratory data analysis, full-stack web applications development (Python / Django / Flask / JavaScript / React), and system/cloud ops . I'm studying data science and I have an interest in visualizing, modeling, and making predictions with existing data. I feel like Biology is a great tool to show the world that you cannot simply invent your own reality and that science is the only way knowing things by making predictions and building working models to show how the world works. How can we quantify and qualify this to the average person? If we wanted to prove, for example, that we can predict the exact locations of our ancestry using phylogenetics, what would be a good resource? -Matt Buck
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