Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring Systems


Donat Agosti

Ph.D., Research Scientist
Dept. of Entomology, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024-5192.

Donat Agosti is PI of this proposal. He is chairman of the Social Insects Specialist Group (SSC-IUCN) and conservation officer of the International Union for the study of Social Insects (IUSSI). He has three ongoing research programs (i) the systematics of desert ants in North Africa and the Middle East, (ii) revisionary study of tropical ant genera, and (iii) a combined molecular-morphological program in higher systematics of ants. Much of his work during the last 5 years was the exploration of SE-Asian ant fauna with an emphasis on leaf litter ant, with a shift towards South America in the recent years. Continued work in SE-Asia and S-America, mainly based on collaborations, and the launching of the Social Insects World Wide Web is planned. The workshop will greatly facilitate these aims.

Gary D. Alpert

Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02138, USA. fax 617-495 0593; phone 617-495 1983.

Gary Alpert is currently involved in an inventory project with malagasy ants, training of local scientists as well as developing tools for the curation of collections. He iscurrently working on a revision of the malagasy genus Terataner.

Alan Andersen

Tropical Ecosystems Research Centre, Division of Wildlife & Ecology, CSIRO, PMB 44, Winnellie NT 0821, AUSTRALIA. phone 6189-221727, fax 61 89 221 714, Fax: +6189-470052.

Alan Andersen is probably the most experienced and among the most prolific ant community ecologist, which a special focus on inventorying and monitoring ant faunas in the tropical northern part of Australia. Although not mainly involved in tropical forest leaf litter research, his approaches to inventory are of great importance to this workshop. Besides scientific studies he is involved in providing professional expertise for environmental management decisions for the Australian Government, using invertebrates, especially ants, as indicator organisms. He will be able to provide a wealth of data on project and sampling design and management. Andersen will gain through the exchange with the other experts in the field, and eventually through having a standard protocol in standardized collecting of ants.

Brandon Bestelmeyer

Graduate Student
Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, Phone:970-491-0952, FAX: 970-491-2204.

Carlos Roberto C. Brandao

Assistant Professor
Secciao de Entomologia, Universidade de Sao Paulo, c.p.7171 Sao Paulo, SP, 01064-970, BRAZIL, phone 55-11-2743690, fax 55-11-2743690, email

Roberto Brandao main interest is ant taxonomy, evolution of social behavior and the ecology of social insects and he is responsible for South Americas largest ant collection. Currently he is involved in inventories of areas in North Western Brazil for environmental changes, and in the development of interactive identification guides and picture libraries of ants. His major contribution to the workshop is his extensive knowledge of the Brazilian ant fauna, his expertise in running and document a large collection in a tropical environment, and finally his means to apply and teach the developed techniques. Brandao will gain through this workshop contacts to other scientists by learning new collecting techniques and strengthening contacts with systematists from the US.

William L. Brown, Jr.

Professor Emeritus
Department of Entomology, Comstock Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA; phone 607-255 4564; email wlb4@cornell.eduDept. of Entomolgy, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

William is Co-PI of this workshop. He clearly is the most experienced, living ant taxonomist. He is currently finishing the long awaited revision of the Ponerini ants and the Pheidole of the Neotropical region (with E.O. Wilson). Species from both taxa are the main part of the leaf litter fauna. Brown is one of the first ant taxonomist collecting regularly leaf litter with Berlese funnels, where he developed his own technique. His contribution towards the taxonomic and leaf litter collecting related problems discussed during the workshop are therefore crucial. His participation at the workshop will give him the opportunity to improve the contacts with scientists in tropical countries.

Jacques Hubert Charles Delabie

Researcher (Pesquisador Principal) and Invited lecturer
Laboratorio de Mirmecologia, Centro des Pesquisas do Cacau - CEPEC, Caixa Postal 7, 45600 Itabuna, Bahia, BRAZIL. Tel. 55 73 214 32 54, fax 214 32 04.

Jacques Delabie (local organizer) began his studies in Brazilian ants, considering first the agronomic effects of the ants in the cacao plantations. During the years he build up not only an expertise for those ant communities, but an ant collection which includes now more then 1100 Brazilian ant species and some 30.000 specimen. As lecturer, he is involved in the training of local students. His work is of general importance, because it contributes to the knowledge of the Mata Atlantica, one of the world’s most endangered habitat. His major contribution to the workshop will be the local ant collection, which is partially based on a thorough study of the plots. This effort has been organized and started during a preparatory visit in January 1995 (in collaboration with Agosti), and which will be used as the comparative base during the workshop. He will gain contacts with US scientists, and an in depth understanding of methodology to use ants as indicator species.

Brian Fisher

Graduate student
Entomology Department, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, U.S.A. phone 916-752 0486.

Brian Fisher is a graduate student at UCLA Davis where he is currently studying the Ant diversity patterns and conservation planning in Madagascar as part of his graduate program. His project is one of the few leaf litter assessments ever organized which is applying replicable sampling techniques. The data and the theoretical bases of his work, besides the practical experiences in conducting the whole project will be thus of utmost importance. He develop further the Winkler extraction techniques (Fisher, in prep.). Fisher will gain through this workshop an important feedback for his own work, and he will get insight into a different ecosystem, which will contribute to a better understanding of the data he is getting for Madagascar.

Raghavendra Gadagkar

Associate Professor and Chairman
Center for Ecological Science, Indian Institute of Science; Bangalore 560 012, India, email; fax 91-80-3341683;

R.Gadagkar's research interests are the evolution of social life in insects, mathematical modeling in genetics and developmental biology and insect biodiversity. He made substantial contribution in theoretical biology. Under his auspices, the Indian center for ecological science is embarking on a major project on ant biodiversity in the Western Ghats. His participation would gain by his theoretical expertise, it will add the Indian perspective and it will foster the collaboration and launching of the Indian leg within the Social Insects World Wide Web, especially the leaf litter database.

Dave Gladstein

Postdoc fellow
Dept of Invertebrates, American Museum of Natural History, New York, phone 212 769 5639.

Dave Gladstein has special interests in all sorts of things, cigars, games, selected food, and computing. He currently works on developing software for phylogenetic studies using particularly molecular data, and knowledge bases, such as the social insects home page.

Ana Yoshi Harada

Research Scientist
INPA/CPEN, Caixa Postal 478, 69.011-970 Manaus - AM, BRAZIL, Phone 55 (092) 643-3196, Fax 55 (092) 643-3233.

Ana Harada has an interest in ant taxonomy and ecology. She is leading ant inventories of areas in the Brazilian Amazon (Amazon Basin, Guian and Central Brazilian Shields) for environmental changes, and she is involved in the development of interactive identification aids to ants of the Amazon basin. She will provide this expertise as well as her knowledge of feasibility of specific applications. The participation at the workshop will be useful for her to learn additional techniques for further ant inventories in the Brazilian Amazonia, it will strengthen contacts with other systematists participants.

Kye S. Hedlund

Associate Professor
Department of Computer Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-3175 phone: (919) 962-1756; fax 962 1799.

Kye Hedlund is currently involved in developing interactive keys to identify Social Insects and in setting up the Social Insects World Wide Web (Hedlund, Carpenter, Agosti, in prep.). His background as a computer scientist with a research interest in biological application of computer technology, and as self trained ant expert will provide the necessary expertise in the workshop to estimate the possibilities and limits of the use of computerized keys, databases and dissemination of information via the Internet. Hedlund will gain through this workshop by participating in the whole assessment process, from collecting through identification to the final assessment of the diversity. This will him give an insight into the processes for which he is developing the software.

Mike Kaspari

Dept. of Zoology, University of Oklahoma; 730 Van Vleet Oval, Rm 314; Phone: 405-325-3371; FAX: 405-325-7560. email: fax in La Selva 011 506 710 1414.

John Lattke

Museo del Instituto de Zoologia Agricola, Agronomia, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Apartado 4579, Maracay 2101-A, Venezuela. Fax: 58 43-453242 (2-241-3141). Currently he is enrolled in a graduate program at: Entomology Department, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, U.S.A. phone 916-752 0486; email

Lattke is a systematist with research programs in sytematic revisions of ant genera as well as comparative leaf litter sampling at different habitats to study the relationship between residing ant fauna and habitat. He is currently involved to set up a long term project to compare the leaf litter ant faunas of differently managed habitats (such as cocoa plantations), which will be part of a students training in research program. Lattke’s participation in the workshop would provide his expertise, but would also further the contact involved in this project. The project will gain enormously having access to his fledgling leaf litter database.

Jack T. Longino

Ph.D., Member of the Faculty
The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington 98505; phone: 360-866-6000, x6511; email:

Jack Longino is currently recipient of a renewal of a NSF grant on “Arthropod diversity in a Lowland Tropical Rainforest” (1991-94: $385.920; 1994-1996 $365.000). Other faunistic research priorities include studies of the ants of Costa Rica; arthropod inventory methodology; theoretical issues in the estimation of species richness. He has a long experience in tropical biology, both in research and teaching, and is currently setting up ant collections using electronic tools such as image processing. His expertise will help to develop solutions of standardized collecting techniques which will be applicable. His expertise in teaching will further contribute to a technique, which will be usable by field biologists. Longino will gain through this workshop by having his own techniques discussed, but also through the contacts to colleagues with special knowledge such as Hedlund (computer solutions) or Brown and Cover (systematics).

Jonathan Majer

Associate Professor
Animal Biology, School of Environmental Biology, Curtin University of Technology, GP) Box U1987, Perth, WA 6001 AUSTRALIA, phone: 09-351 7964, fax 351 2495.

Jonathan Majer is an ant ecologist with the following specially areas: The role of animals in reclaimed lands; the importance of invertebrates in the conservation of vertebrate fauna in Australian ecosystems; the importance of ants in the biological control of tropical tree-crop pests; surveys of the distribution and role of various invertebrates in ecosystems. He is a major expert in restoration ecology, and has a long experience of field work and collaboration in the tropics (West Africa, Brazil and tropical Australia on which he published over 100 research articles). He is of importance for the workshop as he will contribute with his expertise to the ecological aspects of the sampling procedures as well as demands the conservation community has on indicator species, and finally to the editing of the proceedings. He will gain trough this workshop in building contacts mainly with the systematics, but also through broadening his knowledge in collecting techniques.

Anette K.F. Malsch

Graduate student
AK Ethooekologie, Zoologisches Institut, J.W.Goethe Universitaet, Siesmeyerstr. 70, 60054 Frankfurt, Germany, phone 49 69 7982 2923, fax 7982 3585.

Terry McGlynn

Graduate Student
Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0334 USA; phone 303-492 7687; fax: 303-492-8699

Ted Schultz

Ph.D. Research Entomologist
Department of Entomology; National Museum of Natural History; Smithsonian Institution; MRC 534; Washington, DC 20560; phone 301 238 3160; fax 301 238 3160

Schultz's interest focuses on the systematics of the South American fungus-growing ants, the higher systematics of myrmicine ants, the evolution of the ant-fungus symbiosis, and the development of methodologies to infer phylogenies. His contribution to the workshop will be to provide the theoretical background to the development of diversity measures. His new position at the Smithsonian Institution provides an important link to the second largest ant collection in the US. Schultz will gain through this workshop additional contacts to South American colleagues and important insights into biodiversity assessment techniques.

Leeanne Elizabeth Tennant deAlonso

Dept of Zoology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019-0235, (405) 325-3177.

Leeanne's research interest are tropical ecology and biodiversity, interactions between ants and plants (where she got her Ph.D.), ant taxonomy and conservation biology. Currently, she is working on towards the revision of the neotropical ant genus Wasmannia. Her expertise in studying ants and teaching field courses in tropical areas are, as well as her interest in co-editing the proceedings of the workshop will be an important contribution. Tennant will gain through this workshop by learning additional collecting techniques, broadening her knowledge of south american ants and by having contacts with the other participating scientists.

Heraldo Vasconcelos

Research scientist
Dept of Ecology, INPA, Manaus; INPA/CPEN, Caixa Postal 478, 69.011-970 Manaus - AM, BRAZIL, Fax 55 (092) 643-2050/642-1838.

Philip S. Ward

Entomology Department, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, U.S.A. phone 916-752 0486.

Ward's main research interest are focused on systematics and social behavior of ants, the evolution of ant/plant mutualisms, the population structure of social insects, and biodiversity patterns and conservation. He is teaching systematics of insects, and one of his students is currently studying the Malagasy fauna. He hopes that the workshop will achieve an improved taxonomic understanding of ants so that it might be extended to many aspects of community ecology and conservation planning. His expertise in tropical research in Madagascar and South America, and his experience, especially his collaboration in faunistic studies will contribute substantially to the workshop.

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