Specialty Group: Taxon Experts


The taxon experts group includes researchers whose work focuses on a particular group of species (i.e. ants, dragonflies, mammals, butterflies, bees, crabs, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and birds), as well as the data team of Map of Life, who helps facilitate the connections between species names and other biodiversity attribute data. There are three major themes in the team's efforts:

1. Establishment and refinement of taxonomic backbones for each focal species group

2. Navigating taxonomic specificity and uncertainty in biodiversity and conservation assessment

3. Incorporating species-specific distributional and attribute data in macroecological analyses

Core members:

Emily Sandall (Lead), Aurore Maureaud, Doug Booher, Yanina Sica, Ajay Ranipeta, Maisha Lucas, Kate Ingenloff, Matt Rogan, Lia Vogas Ker Marrara

Guest members:

Julia Laterza Barbosa, Richard Li, Mario Ribeiro de Moura, Vijay Barve, John Wieczorek, Kevin Winner

Previous members

Charlie Marsh, Bort Edwards, Stefan Pinkert, James Dorey

Projects and point of contact:

Individual taxonomies

Generating master lists, country-checklists and collecting synonyms:
    - Ants (Doug)
    - Plants (Bort)
    - Crabs and marine realm (Aurore)
    - Butterflies (Stefan)
    - Dragonflies and damselflies (Emily)
    - Reptiles (Mario + Yani)
    - Mammals (Charlie + Yani)
    - Birds (Kate + Yani)
    - Marine lobsters (Maisha + Aurore)

Cleaning of occurrence data

Taxonomic harmonisation, identification of taxonomic, orthographic and spatial errors:
    - Taxonomic cleaning working group (Emily)
    - Spatial cleaning working group (Stefan)
    - Overall workflow - Charlie (lead), Yani, Stefan, Bort, Matt

Taxonomy in biodiversity and macroecological synthesis (perspective)

- Emily and Aurore (leads), Charlie, Yani, Maisha, Kate, Stefan, Doug, Bort, Walter (+ external collaborators)

Knowledge gaps in biodiversity data


Marine biogeography and regions of the ocean seafloor

Aurore + Kate (+ external persons not in the taxon expert group)

Global synthesis of marine decapods: species ranges and macroecology


Coverage metrics for invertebrate and plant data

Ruth (lead), Doug, Bort, Emily, Stefan

The role of functional dietary role in mediating latitudinal gradient of size in ants

Doug (+ external collaborators)



Authors: Nathan S. Upham, Jacob A. Esselstyn, Walter Jetz
Nathan S. Upham, Jacob A. Esselstyn, Walter Jetz,, 2021, Volume: 31
Authors: Moura, M. R. & Jetz, W.
Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2021, Volume: 5
Authors: JA Macgown, D Booher, H Richter, JK Wetterer, JG Hill
Transactions of the American Entomological Society, 2021, Volume: 147
Authors: Upham N. S., Esselstyn J. A., Jetz W.
PLOS Biology, 2019, Volume: 17
Authors: Jetz, W., and Pyron, A. R.
Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2018, Volume: N/A
Authors: Burgin, C. J., Colella, J. P., and Upham, N. S.
Journal of Mammology, 2018, Volume: 99
Authors: Rosauer, D. F., Pollock, L. J., Linke, S., and Jetz, W.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 2017, Volume: 284