Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Weterings, R., M. Barbetti, and H. L. Buckley. 2019. Hypothesis: Do invasive house geckos exacerbate dengue fever epidemics? Biological Invasions 21: 3533–3543. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-019-02066-x

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease that has undergone a marked rise in incidence since the 1950s, throughout the world’s tropical regions. Here, we present a hypothesis that this rise in incidence may have been exacerbated by the invasion of house geckos, due to their role in the mosquito vect…

Liu, X., T. M. Blackburn, T. Song, X. Li, C. Huang, and Y. Li. 2019. Risks of Biological Invasion on the Belt and Road. Current Biology 29: 499-505.e4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.036

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an unprecedented global development program that involves nearly half of the world’s countries [1]. It not only will have economic and political influences, but also may generate multiple environmental challenges and is a focus of considerable academic and p…

Mothes, C. C., J. T. Stroud, S. L. Clements, and C. A. Searcy. 2019. Evaluating ecological niche model accuracy in predicting biotic invasions using South Florida’s exotic lizard community. Journal of Biogeography 46: 432–441. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13511

Aim: Predicting environmentally suitable areas for non‐native species is an important step in managing biotic invasions, and ecological niche models are commonly used to accomplish this task. Depending on these models to enact appropriate management plans assumes their accuracy, but most niche model…

Park, D. S., and O. H. Razafindratsima. 2018. Anthropogenic threats can have cascading homogenizing effects on the phylogenetic and functional diversity of tropical ecosystems. Ecography 42: 148–161. https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.03825

Determining the mechanisms that underlie species distributions and assemblages is necessary to effectively preserve biodiversity. This cannot be accomplished by examining a single taxonomic group, as communities comprise a plethora of interactions across species and trophic levels. Here, we examine …

Deka, M., and N. Morshed. 2018. Mapping Disease Transmission Risk of Nipah Virus in South and Southeast Asia. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease 3: 57. https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020057

Since 1998, Nipah virus (NiV) (genus: Henipavirus; family: Paramyxoviridae), an often-fatal and highly virulent zoonotic pathogen, has caused sporadic outbreak events. Fruit bats from the genus Pteropus are the wildlife reservoirs and have a broad distribution throughout South and Southeast Asia, an…

Antonelli, A., A. Zizka, F. A. Carvalho, R. Scharn, C. D. Bacon, D. Silvestro, and F. L. Condamine. 2018. Amazonia is the primary source of Neotropical biodiversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115: 6034–6039. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1713819115

The American tropics (the Neotropics) are the most species-rich realm on Earth, and for centuries, scientists have attempted to understand the origins and evolution of their biodiversity. It is now clear that different regions and taxonomic groups have responded differently to geological and climati…

Dauby, G., T. Stévart, V. Droissart, A. Cosiaux, V. Deblauwe, M. Simo-Droissart, M. S. M. Sosef, et al. 2017. ConR : An R package to assist large-scale multispecies preliminary conservation assessments using distribution data. Ecology and Evolution 7: 11292–11303. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.3704

The Red List Categories and the accompanying five criteria developed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) provide an authoritative and comprehensive methodology to assess the conservation status of organisms. Red List criterion B, which principally uses distribution data, is …

Guedes, T. B., R. J. Sawaya, A. Zizka, S. Laffan, S. Faurby, R. A. Pyron, R. S. Bérnils, et al. 2017. Patterns, biases and prospects in the distribution and diversity of Neotropical snakes. Global Ecology and Biogeography 27: 14–21. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12679

Motivation: We generated a novel database of Neotropical snakes (one of the world’s richest herpetofauna) combining the most comprehensive, manually compiled distribution dataset with publicly available data. We assess, for the first time, the diversity patterns for all Neotropical snakes as well as…