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Hymenopteran Diversity of Madagascar Internship

MadagascRainForest copy (002)

 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: What is the diversity of Hymenoptera like in one of the most threatened regions on Earth?  What might diversity patterns tell us about Malagasy conservation priorities?  As a biodiversity hotspot, Madagascar composes 0.4% of Earth’s landmass but contains 5% of its diversity and boasts 80% endemicity. Unfortunately, an estimated ~80-90% of the ‘pre-human’ forest cover has been destroyed.  As a result, there has been interest among entomologists in conducting long-term sampling efforts. We have hundreds of malaise trap samples, some raw and some pre-sorted, that we intend to process to a fully curated state. These specimens will feed incipient and ongoing research in the Hymenoptera unit.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Identify and recognize superfamilies and certain families of Hymenoptera, plus proper curatorial techniques for processing, mounting, and labeling the specimens. Toward the end of the internship, there are possibilities to learn montage/scanning electron images of select specimens.

QUALIFICATIONS: Attention to detail; some experience with microscopy; good eye-hand coordination; patience; desire for learning.

TIMETABLE: Summer 2016

AWARD PACKAGE: None

HOW TO APPLY: Please email a resume/CV and the names and contact information for two references to Michael Gates

Project Contact Name: Michael Gates and Matthew Buffington

Phone: 202-633-4554

E-mail:michael.gates@ars.usda.gov