“Thanks to genetic studies on decades of collections we are reconstructing how humans contributed to the decline of species”
The 4th CETAF E-SCoRe Award goes to Lara-Sophie Dey.
She successfully convinced the CETAF scientific panel thanks to her paper on “Analysis of geographic centrality and genetic diversity in the declining grasshopper species Bryodemella tuberculata (Orthoptera: Oedipodinae)” published in Biodiversity and Conservation in which she investigates the climatic niche of the Speckled Buzzing Grasshopper to evaluate if climate change may have caused the rapid decline of the species in Central Europe. Together with the co-authors, she came to the conclusion that the cause was rather habitat alteration.
Dey is a PhD student at the Leibniz-Institut zur Analyse des Biodiversitätswandels in Hamburg, Germany. She will be receiving the prize from the hand of Gila Kahila Bar-Gal, Secretary of the Consortium of the European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF) and President of the scientific evaluation committee, during a ceremony at the next General Assembly of CETAF in Vienna in November 2023.
“By awarding the E-SCoRe” – says Gila Kahila Bar-Gal – “CETAF wishes to highlight the significance of collections-based research in the fight against biodiversity loss and climate change and to support early-career researchers in this field. I think this year’s award is particularly significant because this year we invited only PhD students, and still we received an encouraging number of applications of great quality that shows that taxonomy is not an old-fashioned field of scientific research, on the contrary”.
“The CETAF E-SCoRe Award celebrates the next generation of scientists whose work focuses on natural science collections and contributes to developing research careers” – says Ana Casino, CETAF Executive Director – “and voices out the importance of natural science collections in policies and initiatives for nature conservation and protection. This is our big pledge for the years to come, to be more present – as representatives of the taxonomists community – in the policy-making, being more in contact with the decision-makers.”
The analyses conducted by Lara-Sophie Bey predicted that most of the extinct European locations are still climatically suitable for the species. Based on this, her paper suggests that anthropogenic modifications and land-cover changes are more likely the reason for the fast and ongoing decline.
THE E-SCoRe AWARD
The CETAF E-SCoRe has reached its fourth edition. It is an initiative to reward early-career researchers – this year for PhD students only! -, within the fields of taxonomy, biodiversity and geodiversity science, who base their research on natural science collections. E-SCoRe – Excellence in Scientific Collections-based Research, is a celebration of the new generation of scientists who have shown dedication to the use of collections that help document, describe and understand life on Earth and the processes that have shaped it. The award also celebrates the United Nations-endorsed International Day for Biological Diversity, which falls annually on the 22nd of May to commemorate the 1992 adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The prize is given annually to a young researcher. It consists of three parts: a cash prize of €1,000, financial support of up to €1,000 for a scientific visit to a CETAF institute, and an invitation to the next CETAF Governing Board meeting to present the winning research.