Taxonomist Appreciation Day is Thursday!


Taxonomist Appreciation Day is March 19th – this Thursday!

Among all the sciences, one of the least heralded and most critical roles is the taxonomist.

We need more funding and more jobs for taxonomy. That’s not in my power, but the very least we can do is to explicitly value taxonomists and work they do with our recognition and appreciation.

Taxonomists do the dirty work sorting out the identify of the organisms that we work with in the lab and the field. Evolutionary history can be messy to sort out, and systematists and taxonomists have dedicated their careers to building sense from the legacy of the world’s complex evolutionary history.

The brilliant comic artists of Buzz Hoot Roar have been celebrating Taxonomist Appreciation Day with a pun contest! Stay tuned to their site to find out about the winners!

Please, on Thursday, contact the living taxonomists who have influenced your work, to let them know that they make a difference. Share on Facebook, twitter, whatnot, how you love your taxonomist. Let’s use #TaxonomyDay.

This is also an excellent time to celebrate the lives of taxonomists over the past few centuries.

The taxonomist whose foundational work has enabled all of the work I do in Costa Rican rainforests is Jack Longino. By creating a detailed natural history and identification guide for all of the ants in one smallish patch of forest, he has made it easy for biologists of all stripes to work in this area. Now his domain has extended throughout the tropical Americas, as well all are the better off for it. Jack, thanks so much to you and all that you do and have done. It’s made a world of difference not just for myself, but so many other biologists who work in the Neotropics. Your research itself is important, but also has enabled so much more additional work with an impact that will be broad and deep.

My posts about Taxonomist Appreciation Day from 2014 and 2013 are available for your perusal, if you’re so inclined.

7 thoughts on “Taxonomist Appreciation Day is Thursday!

  1. I’m too late for the pun contest, but I have thoughts & a pun.

    Taxonomists keep it in the family (pun).
    Taxonomy doesn’t get respect today I think because it feels to too many like it’s all been discovered, sorted out, etc. There’s not a sense that the species composition of the Earth is changing or still being discovered…it’s all about the molecular bio now (which I know taxonomists are involved in now too). (thought)
    And I wish I knew more about it; I’d have loved the opportunity to merge my work in basic molecular plant science/development with other plants. (thought).
    Taxonomists do it phylogenetically. (pun).

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