The Department of Entomology at Harvard University is outstanding in
maintaining a world class insect collection at the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) in a world class academic setting in the Department of Organismal and Evolutionary Biology (OEB). The MCZ side has a state-of-the-art, federally-funded bioinformatics center dedicated to developing and applying the latest digital documentation techniques to the specimen collections at the MCZ and in the Caribbean. The OEB side comprises a large, international training program in molecular and evolutionary systematics and ecology dedicated to mentoring graduate and undergraduate students in the field, in the laboratory and in the collections.

Brian Farrell, Professor of Biology and Curator in Entomology, directs the bioinformatics center and co-directs the entomology graduate program with Naomi Pierce, Hessel Professor of Biology and Curator of Lepidoptera. Professor Emeritus Edward O. Wilson leads the activities of the Ant Room, maintained by Curatorial Assistant Stefan Cover, and is engaged in exploration and documentation of the Caribbean ant fauna.

Curatorial Associate Dr. Philip Perkins oversees the maintenance and curation of the collections, including the information in the type database. Resident Research Associate Dr. Piotr Naskrecki (of Conservation International) oversees the database design and web serving, and is our consultant on digital photography, ArcInfo mapping and general web services. Dr. Gary Alpert is our consultant on digital activities in the Ant Room, in addition to exploration of the ants of southeast Asia.

David Turell, Jon Woodward, Max Coniglio, Valery Estabrook, Jessie Haigh and Mike Allen form the type imaging team. Turell designs and implements the web pages and leads the poster production, with input and contributions from each member of the imaging team.

Related projects include Gary Alpert's New England Guide to Household Pests, Ed Wilson's Pheidole in the New World, Piotr Naskrecki's Orthoptera Species File, a Living on Earth report featuring interviews with Ed Wilson, Brian Farrell and Piotr Naskrecki (select December 12, 2003, "A Little Known Planet"), and a pdf of a Harvard Magazine piece on Farrell's work in the Dominican Republic.

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