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[a guest post by myrmecologist Andrea Lucky]

Andrea & her intrepid field team in New Guinea

It was a dark and stormy night…

…actually, it was a dark and stormy morning.  The dawn of the 7th day of ceaseless frigid rain to be precise, and I was reminiscing about the grand old days one week before when the sun emerged and for a glorious 10 minutes it was warm enough to splash some water on my arms, legs and neck and wipe away the accumulated grime that is synonymous with field work. I wondered if that lovely burst of sunshine would ever come again (no, it wouldn’t), and every time I shiveringly remembered my quick bath I cursed myself for wasting those precious moments of sun. Washing – what was I thinking? I should have been out there looking for ants!

Papua New Guinea is a tropical paradise for any biologist, but especially for an ant biologist. (more…)

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antpubs3

Figure 1. For the 32 most-studied ant species, the percentage of publications 1984-2008 in various contexts.

In thinking about where the myrmecological community ought to devote resources in the age of genomics, it occcured to me that putting some numbers on where researchers have previously concentrated their efforts might be useful.  So I went to BIOSIS previews and quantified the number of publications in 5-year intervals from 1984 to 2008 recovered under searches for various well-studied ant species (methods and full data here).  Here’s what I found:

(more…)

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