Thursday, July 16, 2015

Sabbatical report

Well, for better or worse my sabbatical has come to an end and the Fall semester is set to begin in ~ four weeks. Earlier I wrote a blog post about my sabbatical projects and now I have the sobering duty to report on it.

So here is the abbreviated list of what I wanted to do:

1NSF pre proposal submission
2. Revision of Smilax
3. #365papers
4. Description of a new genus with multiple new species from South America.
5. Research trip to Copenhagen
6. Review of Phanolinopsis
7. Allometry in Triacrus?
8. New species in Scaponopselaphus

Items 1, 3, 5, 7 and 8 were all completed or are going rather well in the case of #365papers. I am particularly proud of 7 that was a student led project and is going to appear soon on PeerJ, but more on that in a couple of weeks.

Numbers 2, 4 and 6 are not done and they will not be done for a few more months. There are some complications on these projects (like missing types or more new species than expected, and I am going to write more about these in due time).

But other things happened that were not listed above.
1. I wrote a taxonomic paper on Triacrus (soon to be published in The Coleopterists Bulletin) in addition to the allometry one.
2. I submitted in collaboration with friends in Copenhagen and Austria a great paper on the phylogenetics of Staphylinini.
3. Our collection database was moved to Symbiota and now it is available for anybody to explore.
4. And I also applied and received a generous internal grant from the Provost that allowed to kick start an amazing field program near Chattanooga.

Speaking of field work it has been a blast and I am really enjoying the opportunity to get to know the local beetles. I do not think I would have been able to initiate something like that without a sabbatical. We have been accumulating thousands of specimens and we do expect amazing new discoveries soon. Now, can I submit this blog post as my official sabbatical report to UTC instead of answering their canned questions?