DEST Training: Basics of Taxonomy: describing, illustrating and communicating biodiversity

October 10, 2016


The 5th edition of the DEST “Basics of Taxonomy: describing, illustrating and communicating biodiversity” course will take place form 10 to 21 October at the Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences in Kristineberg, Sweden. 

The following topics will be covered:

1) DELTA (DEscription Language for TAxonomy): DELTA is an advanced computer program to handle all kinds of taxonomic data. It is currently regarded as the state of the art in modern taxonomy and used by taxonomists to (re)describe taxa in a standardised format, which makes the information readily available for comparative (phylogenetic) studies, cataloguing of fauna lists and construction of interactive illustrated keys.

2) Digital drawing: Participants will learn to make scientific illustrations with the digital drawing method using the software program Adobe Illustrator. In many labs, this has become a standard method for making taxonomic descriptions, as there are great advantages in working speed, editing the illustrations and the ease of creating very smooth lines. 

3) Scientific illustration: Participants will learn to understand the human perception of illustrations. They will be informed about a variety of illustration methods and will practise a few of these. Besides the illustration of biological specimens, specific technical aspects of diagrams, tables, typography and posters will be included as well.

4) Scientific writing and communication: Participants will learn the particularities of writing and presenting scientific studies. Main emphasis will be placed on writing the most common form of publication, i.e. the primary scientific paper. The course will explain the current structure of scientific literature, the main features of the scientific information ‘industry’, and the particular rules and customs followed by the international scientific community when publishing. Particular attention will be given to little taught aspects of the publication process, such as choosing a suitable forum for a scientific paper, practicalities of preparing and submitting a manuscript, dealing with editors and the printing process.

5) Scratchpads: Scratchpads are a free social networking tool to build, share and publish information on the diversity of life on the Web The system allows individuals or groups of people to create their own networks supporting their research communities on the Web. The tool is flexible and scalable enough to support hundreds of networks each with their community’s choice of features, visual design, and data.

For further information such as registration, fees and the amount of ECTS credits to be gained, please visit the course website



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