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Join the project as a taxonomist

We are looking for taxonomists who:

  • currently work on Australian fauna that are regularly caught in Malaise traps (you do not have to be based in Australia)
  • enjoy participating in outreach activities
  • want to be part of a fun project that involves giving back to the community
  • are open to describing species outside of comprehensive, large-scale revision work because of the positive impact that describing these species in isolation will have on the school students involved in the project

What you get out of it:

  • Access to specimens of your taxa of interest from regional areas of Australia
  • COI DNA barcoding of these specimens, funded by the project
  • An opportunity to connect with and inspire regional Australian school students about science, entomology, and taxonomy. We can provide reference letters confirming involvement in the project for any PhD students or Early Career Researchers/Professionals for whom this would be helpful
  • An opportunity to apply for small honorarium funds to help you describe a new species in collaboration with the school(s) that collected material of that species
  • Media attention and promotion of you and your work, if desired, as we will be regularly seeking media opportunities to promote the project at various regional or national scales

What we would need:

  • A list of the target groups that you have expertise in, that you would be willing to help identify and possibly describe new species of
  • Identification resources that would allow us to train university students on how to sort your target taxa from a bulk Malaise trap
  • A commitment to providing some general information back to the project team about the specimens we send you, within a short, defined time period that we can forward to schools. This can be at whatever identification level is practical for your insect group and the time you wish to commit to the project
  • A commitment to giving at least one virtual presentation or Q&A session to school students about your research and about the insects you work on. We will facilitate these sessions and can provide guidance and training for early career researchers or students who have not worked with school groups before
  • A commitment to describing at least one new species (if present in the material and easily identifiable as a new species) in collaboration with the school(s) that collected specimens of that species, within the short timeline of the project. We will facilitate this partnership and envision the publication of all the new species arising from the project to occur together in one or several manuscripts (open to negotiation)
  • An agreement that all material (including any new types) loaned to you during the project is to be returned to the project team or directly deposited into the state museum of origin (i.e. South Australian Museum, Queensland Museum or Western Australian Museum)

Questions? Contact Erinn Fagan-Jeffries

Want to be part of the fun? Fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon!

Taxonomist application form