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.
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.