Symposium: Teaching and Capacity Building

The role of museums in training the next generation of systematists – challenges and opportunities.         

Michael G. Rix (Queensland Museum).           The national distributed faunal collections housed in Australia’s major public museums have long played a significant, if understated, role in systematics training. Access to authoritative collections of specimens, and to the expertise of those staff employed at museums, are both central elements of a modern postgraduate training programme in faunal …

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Training the Future: 30 Years of the Volunteer Botanical Training Program

Bronwyn Collins (Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research). Beginning with the first small group of students hosted by the then Australian National Botanic Gardens Herbarium in 1993 the Volunteer Botanical Training Program has trained and mentored over 300 students. For 3 decades participants have received training in collections curation and provided assistance to both curatorial …

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Taxonomists in training: the feasibility of learning from the literature, or lack of it.        

Ben A. Parslow (South Australian Museum and University of Adelaide); Rebecca J. Hill (South Australian Museum).  A compelling need exists for expanding the taxonomic workforce, particularly in our pursuit of comprehensive biodiversity documentation. The current state of this workforce presents substantial risks to its long-term sustainability with the loss of knowledge and capacity building. Traditional …

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Systematics education and training at the tertiary level: a case for an integrated approach.

Lyn Cook (University of Queensland).              Systematics education and training in universities has often, but not always, been separated along taxonomic lines (plant systematics, insect systematics, etc).  Consequently, low numbers of students enrolling in seemingly specialist courses has led to the demise of specialised systematics education in Australian universities.  However, the fundamentals of systematics (phylogenetics, classification …

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The role of short courses and workshops in systematics postgraduate and ECR training .

Andrew Austin (University of Adelaide).         There has been a reduction in systematics training at undergraduate level over the last 20+ years, particularly in content related to taxonomy. Because of this, the systematics group at Adelaide University, in conjunction with staff from the SA Museum and Herbarium organised the Postgraduate Training Workshop in Systematics. First run …

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How to train a systematist? A status check of plant and fungal systematics training at Australasian Universities.

Joanne L. Birch (School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne); Kristina Lemson (School of Science, Edith Cowan University). The value of native biodiversity and ecosystems is broadly recognised. However, the capacity to engage and train students in plant and fungal biodiversity at Australasian tertiary institutions remains limited. Teaching of organismal diversity remains a component of first-year …

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