(Science) Around the world, natural history museums are shuttered and reeling. Museums’ reliance on revenue from ticket sales and events makes them among the first scientific institutions to feel the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the crisis is also spurring museums to adopt or expand practices that, though they may not restore lost revenue, are keeping the public engaged and research ticking along.
(Museum für Naturkunde) Help the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin make its Hymenoptera collection digitally accessible by transcribing labels for bees and other species in the collection. All you need is some time and a computer. Here’s how you can help.
Declines in the number of species occurred on nearly every continent, starting at various points in the last four decades but largely in the 1990s on most continents. One exception was Australia and nearby islands, where the number of bee species estimated from observations spiked in the 2000s before dropping back down in the 2010s. Globally, thousands of bee species have become so rare that they are difficult to find or have gone extinct.
(EurekAlert/Entomological Society of America) While the field of morphology is centuries old, the last two decades have brought incredible leaps forward through the emergence of new technologies and genetic research methods. And the impact of these advances has been revolutionary for the scientists working to untangle the vast biodiversity and evolutionary paths of the world of insects.
(EurekAlert/University of Cincinnati) Researchers increasingly are embracing the power of ancient DNA from old museum specimens to answer questions about climate change, habitat loss and other stresses on surviving populations.