Highlights 2014-2015

Scientific publications:

DNA barcoding to improve the taxonomy of the Afrotropical hoverflies (Insecta: Diptera: Syrphidae) by Jordaens K, Goergen G, Virgilio M, Backeljau T, Vokaer A, De Meyer M and Casiraghi M, 2015 , PLOS ONE, 10, e0140264.
A second New World hoverfly, Toxomerus floralis (Fabricius) (Diptera: Syrphidae), recorded from the Old World, with description of larval pollen-feeding ecology by Jordaens K, Goergen G, Kirk-Spriggs AH, Vokaer A, Backeljau T and De Meyer M, 2015, Zootaxa, 4044, 567-576 (Dec. 2015).

Scientific publication:

DNA barcoding and male genital morphology reveal five new cryptic species in the West Palearctic bee Seladonia smaragdula (Vachal, 1895) (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Halictidae) by Pauly A, Devalez J, Sonet G, Nagy ZT & Boevé J-L. 2015. Zootaxa 4034 (2): 257–290 (Oct. 2015).

Scientific publication:

The mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene reveals phylogeographic structure in the African Goshawk Accipiter tachiro (Accipitridae). Jordaens K, Breman F C, Sonet G, Nagy Z T & Louette M. 2015. Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology 86(3): 261-266 (Sep. 2015).

Recent DNA barcoding activities of JEMU were presented at the 6th International Barcode of Life Conference (2 oral presentations and 5 posters). Abstract of all communications (poster and oral presentations) of the conference (17-21 August 2015, Guelph, Canada) have been published by Genome, vol 58 and are accessible here.

Scientific publication:

Second Record and DNA Barcode of the Ant Tyrannomyrmex rex Fernández (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae) by Jacquemin J, Sonet G, Bourguignon T, Evans TA, Delsinne T. 2015. Sociobiology, 62(2): 276-280 (Jul 2015).

JEMU contributed to the conference Evolution 2015, 26-30 June 2015 in Guarujá, Brazil. It is the joint annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE), the Society of Systematic Biologists (SSB), and the American Society of Naturalists (ASN). Z.T. Nagy et al. presented a poster on the diversity of the serpent fauna in Central Africa: from field surveys to integrative systematic (Jun 2015).
The Empowering Biodiversity Research conference was about "Biodiversity Informatics", which deals with the application of informatics techniques to biodiversity information for improved management, presentation, discovery, exploration and analysis of scientific data. Combined with open data sources on the Internet, this is a powerful new approach in doing research. This conference was organised by the Belgian Biodiversity Platform and took place in the Palace of the Academies on May 21th 2015 in Brussels, Belgium. JEMU attended the conference and presented a poster on the activities of the Belgian Network for the Barcode of Life (BeBoL).
Between 2012 and 2015, JEMU collaborated with the AGORA-MOLCOL project (jointly run by RMCA and RBINS) in order to implement tissue and DNA collections in the Belgian natural history collections. The collaboration resulted in a set of standards and protocols to optimally collect samples in the field, extract DNA, store tissue and DNA in an integrated system, feed, manage and share a collection database. In addition, next-generation sequencing techniques were tested on museum specimens in order to explore the interest of applying these new technologies on older material in the field molecular systematics. Here is more info on the project.

Call for research projects 2015: Abstract deadline extended to 17 April 2015 at 12:00

Thanks to re-assurance of longer term commitment by BELSPO for funding JEMU, we are happy to launch a call for research projects. In 2015, JEMU will support two projects led by research teams of RMCA and RBIS, with a financial contribution of 5000 EUR each (co-funding encouraged). Projects will start in May 2015 and will be finished within 12 months of the starting date. Proposals should be submitted via e-mail until 17 APRIL 2015 at 12:00. Please read the submission guidelines and use the proposal submission form.

Scientific publication:

Higher phylogeny of frugivorous flies (Diptera, Tephritidae, Dacini): Localised partition conflicts and a novel generic classification published online in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (Feb. 2015).

In the context of a collaboration with the Center for Anchored Phylogenomics, some preliminary results (raw data and first analyses) of a JEMU project were presented in the molecular lab of RBINS. Click here to see the slide show (Jan 2015).

JEMU started to explore opportunities offered by next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies to study non-model organisms. Some first observations have been presented in two posters (Dec. 2014):

Scientific publication:

Genetic structure of fragmented southern populations of African Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer caffer) (Nov. 2014).

Scientific publication:

Identification of Belgian mosquito species (Diptera: Culicidae) by DNA barcoding (Sep. 2014).

A set of multi-entry identification keys to African frugivorous flies (Diptera, Tephritidae) has been published. It is described in a short communication in Zookeys and can be accessed online or via the website of Zookeys under the Open Database License (ODbL) which is a license agreement intended to allow users to freely share, modify, and use the Dataset while maintaining this same freedom for others, provided that the original source and author(s) are credited (Aug. 2014).

Identifying Insects with Incomplete DNA Barcode Libraries, a pragmatic approach towards workable solutions. This web seminar was presented by M. Virgilio on the 8th of July 2014 to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (Jul. 2014).
JEMU contributed to seven oral and poster presentations at the 1st International Conference on Biodiversity in the Congo Basin, Kisangani, DR Congo (Jun. 2014)
Two oral presentations by JEMU at the conference "DNA in Forensics 2014" organised by the NICC in Brussels on 14, 15 and 16 May 2014 (May 2014)

Scientific publication:

DNA analysis of museum material: Afrotropical forest-dwelling mongooses (Mammalia: Herpestidae: Crossarchus) investigated by craniometry and mitochondrial DNA (Apr. 2014)

Scientific publication:

New DNA barcoding survey of Malagasy amphibians (published in Amphibia-Reptilia). This study includes 251 of the 292 nominal species known to date (Apr. 2014)

Today in the media:

DNA and larvae reveal time of death (Jan. 2014). A newly-created reference database of DNA sequences of flies found on human corpses in Belgium and France allows identification of fly larvae in order to date a person’s death accurately. see also the article on justice.belgium.be
2011-2013 Highlights for the period 2011-2013

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith