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The current state of the Albert J. Cook Arthropod Research Collection. Anthony Cognato and Gary Parsons Department of Entomology Michigan State University. History: The Beginning. 1867 Albert J. Cook established the Collection of Insects at Michigan Agricultural College 1878

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

The current state of the

Albert J. Cook Arthropod Research

Collection.

Anthony Cognato and Gary Parsons

Department of Entomology

Michigan State University

slide2

History: The Beginning

1867 Albert J. Cook established the Collection of Insects

at Michigan Agricultural College

1878

Nearly 1,200 locally-collected specimens used primarily for teaching

slide3

History: Growth into a research collection

1889- 1890

U.S. Senator James McMillan purchased and donated Fred Tepper

(12,000 moths) and Austin collections (40,000 beetles) and

donated his collection with many types.

Additional collections from

Charles V. Riley- Hemiptera

American Museum of Natural History- Microlepidoptera

Dr. Lawrence Bruner - Orthoptera

Dr. Eugene Davenport- Lepidoptera

slide4

History: 50 years of growth

Mr. Rufus H. Pettit, Director (1897-1930) and Ms. Eugenia McDaniel

Addition of economically important insects.

slide5

History: 50 years of growth

Transfer of collection from College Museum to the Department of

Entomology.

By 1950:

The Collection contained more than 100,000 specimens

representing 350 families and 15,000 species.

slide6

History: into the 21st century

1948 move into new Natural Science Building complete with expansion

space.

1952 Dr. Roland Fischer appointed as Curator.

1950-1988 Significant growth:

-Dr. Robert Dreisbach Collection 250,000 Michigan insects

-Various collections of 20,000 Michigan Moths

-Gunnar Hjegaard collection of 8,000 Danish moths

-William C. Stehr collection of 7,000 coccinellid and carabid beetles

Growth of international holdings:

- Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Africa, and India

slide7

History: into the 21st century

  • 1988 Dr. Fred Stehr appointed as Director.
  • Several part time collection managers
  • -Department designates endowed funds for
  • operating costs.
  • Significant growth:
  • - Of the immature collection
  • Various collections of 10,000 Lepidoptera.
  • Growth of international holdings:
  • - Brazil, Malaysia, Borneo, New Guinea, Latin America
slide8

History: into the 21st century

  • 1999 Mr. Gary Parsons hired as first full-time
  • collection manager.
  • Significant growth:
  • Start of computer based species inventory.
  • Curation of neglected orders
  • donated his collection of 10,000 Western Coleoptera
  • 7,000 additional specimens added since 2000
  • Increased involvement with outreach
slide9

Problems:

  • Occupies ~2000 sq. ft.
slide10

Problems:

-No space to expand.

slide11

Problems:

-1948 Vintage cabinets and oversized drawers

-80% of specimens in hard bottom trays

slide12

Problems:

-Open storage and past

Dermestid damage

slide13

Consequences:

-Overall curation of the ARC was

rated 5 on the McGinley scale

- Low rate of loans and vistors

slide14

Solution: Lots of Potential

  • 2006 Dr. Anthony Cognato hired as Director and brought an active
  • systematic program
  • Approximately 1 million pinned specimens representing
  • 481 families and 35,000 species.
  • - 285 holotypes and 2,951 paratypes
  • - Over 100,000 slides and vials containing multiple Arthropod
  • specimens.
  • Significant holdings from Great Lakes Region and extentive
  • collection of Collembola, Lepidoptera and Coleoptera.
  • 5 graduate students
  • 2 undergraduate students
  • 4 adjunct curators
slide15

Solution: more space

Renewed university support of the collection:

Continued support of the full-time collection manager position and

More space

slide16

Solution: A Plan

*Remove outdated and damaged storage.

*Renovate new space. Install new cabinets, drawers and trays.

slide17

Solution: A Plan

*Update nomenclature for all species names in the collection,

electronically record names, numbers of specimens

and broad geographic

affiliations.

slide18

Solution: A Plan

*Construct a data base using Specify of the above information

and publicize it on ARC’s website and through GBIF.

slide19

Solution: Funding

2009 !

NSF-BRC via the ARRA

slide20

Solution: Funding: Results

installation of new storage thus proving the entire collection with one reliable layer of protection against insect collection pests.

transferred ~650,000 Coleoptera and Hymenoptera specimens into new trays (>35,000) thus resulting in half of the pinned collection curated to modern standards.

installed Specify v5 software on our server and completed web-accessible database of species holdings which includes ~35,000 verified species names.

Our activities have also gone beyond the objectives of the original proposal. We have updated our database to Specify v6 and expanded it to include specimen level data. It currently holds over 10,000 specimens records.

slide21

Solution: Funding: Results

In addition, ~$140,000 was spent on storage supplied by American companies thus holding true to the intent of the ARRA.

Although some scoffed at this productivity.

slide22

As of 2011: More funding! InvertNet.

2011-2012: Continued curating the collection to modern standards.

Hemiptera in new trays with headers.

Spiders in new vials with updated nomenclature. ~17,000 determined specimens and 300 vials of undetermined specimens.

slide23

Thanks !

Renovations to the collection were accomplished with the help of many.

Undergraduate student employees:

Chris Adams, Nick Brac, Eric Glabraith, Coral Hahn-Townsend, Ashely Leach, Emily Maher, Diana Miller, Steve Muresan, PatricaSamota

Graduate students:

Bernice DeMarco, Stephanie Dole, Jiri Hulcr, Rachel Olson, Aaron Smith, Sarah Smith

Adjunct Curtors:

Elwin Evans, John Fricke, Ralph Gorton, Bob Kriegel, Mo Nielsen, Mike Philip, Ron Priest, Dan Swanson, Bill Taft, Frank West

Computer Programmer:

Krishna Dole