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Creators/Authors contains: "Cook, Joseph A."

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 10, 2023
  3. Abstract Zoos and natural history museums are both collections-based institutions with important missions in biodiversity research and education. Animals in zoos are a repository and living record of the world's biodiversity, whereas natural history museums are a permanent historical record of snapshots of biodiversity in time. Surprisingly, despite significant overlap in institutional missions, formal partnerships between these institution types are infrequent. Life history information, pedigrees, and medical records maintained at zoos should be seen as complementary to historical records of morphology, genetics, and distribution kept at museums. Through examining both institution types, we synthesize the benefits and challenges of cross-institutional exchanges and propose actions to increase the dialog between zoos and museums. With a growing recognition of the importance of collections to the advancement of scientific research and discovery, a transformational impact could be made with long-term investments in connecting the institutions that are caretakers of living and preserved animals.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 21, 2023
  4. Abstract Natural history collections (NHCs) are important resources for a diverse array of scientific fields. Recent digitization initiatives have broadened the user base of NHCs, and new technological innovations are using materials generated from collections to address novel scientific questions. Simultaneously, NHCs are increasingly imperiled by reductions in funding and resources. Ensuring that NHCs continue to serve as a valuable resource for future generations will require the scientific community to increase their contribution to and acknowledgement of collections. We provide recommendations and guidelines for scientists to support NHCs, focusing particularly on new users that may be unfamiliar with collections. We hope that this perspective will motivate debate on the future of NHCs and the role of the scientific community in maintaining and improving biological collections.
  5. Abstract Natural history collections (NHCs) are the foundation of historical baselines for assessing anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity. Along these lines, the online mobilization of specimens via digitization—the conversion of specimen data into accessible digital content—has greatly expanded the use of NHC collections across a diversity of disciplines. We broaden the current vision of digitization (Digitization 1.0)—whereby specimens are digitized within NHCs—to include new approaches that rely on digitized products rather than the physical specimen (Digitization 2.0). Digitization 2.0 builds on the data, workflows, and infrastructure produced by Digitization 1.0 to create digital-only workflows that facilitate digitization, curation, and data links, thus returning value to physical specimens by creating new layers of annotation, empowering a global community, and developing automated approaches to advance biodiversity discovery and conservation. These efforts will transform large-scale biodiversity assessments to address fundamental questions including those pertaining to critical issues of global change.
  6. Abstract

    Conservation efforts rely on robust taxonomic assessments that should be based on critical assessment of interspecific boundaries, infraspecific variation, and potentially distinctive peripheral populations. The meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus) is widely distributed across North America, including 28 morphologically defined subspecies and numerous isolated populations. Because some subspecies are of high conservation concern, we examined geographic variation across the range of the species to test existing infraspecific taxonomy in terms of local and regional diversification. We sequenced mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from 20 subspecies of M. pennsylvanicus and contextualized infraspecific variation through comparison of pairwise genetic distances derived from an extended data set of 63 species of Microtus. We found strong support for at least three divergent clades within M. pennsylvanicus, with observed intraspecific clade divergence exceeding that between several pairwise comparisons of sister species within Microtus. Six nuclear genes were then sequenced to test the validity of mtDNA structure and to further evaluate the possibility of cryptic, species-level diversity using Bayes factor species delimitation (BFD) analyses. BFD consistently and decisively supported multiple species based on the multilocus approach. We propose that taxonomic revision of the meadow vole is required, with the eastern clade now identified as M. pennsylvanicus (Ord 1815),more »the western clade as M. drummondii (Audubon and Bachman 1853), and the coastal Florida clade as M. dukecampbelli (Woods, Post, and Kilpatrick 1982). We suggest that such an arrangement would more closely reflect evolutionary history and provide critical context for further examination of distinctive southern peripheral populations that harbor novel evolutionary legacies and adaptive potential.

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