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K-State Today

September 23, 2011



Entomologist receives grant to enhance biodiversity information system

By David Margolies

Greg Zolnerowich, professor of entomology and curator of the Museum of Entomological and Prairie Arthropod Research, recently received a $150,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Museums for America grant, a collections stewardship, will enhance BiodIS, the Kansas State University Biodiversity Information System.

Funding for this three-year project will support the database capture of an estimated 120,000 insect specimens in the megadiverse orders: coleoptera (beetles), diptera (flies), and Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps). The grant will also enable the creation of 20,000 high resolution images of plants. Specimen information and images will be made available through BiodIS, a biodiversity website based on the insect and plant collections at K-State.

This project builds on a Targeted Excellence partnership between K-State Libraries, the K-State Herbarium, and the Museum of Entomological and Prairie Arthropod Research. User groups including the general public, public school students, conservationists, ecologists, systematists and other scientists will have online access to biological specimens and the vast amount of information associated with those insect and plant specimens.