Dung beetlers at their altar at the London Zoo.
Frank explaining the difference between a flat earth and a round belly.
Frank with Russian colleague Sergey Tarasov and Adrian Davis from South Africa.
Frank Krell joined this year’s ScarabNet meeting on 1 and 2 February at the London Zoo. ScarabNet is a NSF-funded Research Coordination Network that has brought together over 80 researchers working on dung beetles (Scarabaeinae). ScarabNet has stimulated international collaborations, produced review papers and taxonomic tools, IUCN Red List assessments, and had enabled Frank and colleagues to submit an NSF proposal for a collaborative Planetary Biodiversity Inventory of dung beetles which unfortunately didn't win funding. A new ScarabNet webpage will be launched at the end of February. The most significant result of this meeting from Frank's perspective is a book project of illustrated identification keys to all dung beetle genera of the world, split up by zoogeographic regions. Frank, as the speaker of the ScarabNet Taxonomy working group, will steer this project which has a time frame of 2-3 years.
Before and after the ScarabNet meeting, Frank worked at his former work place, The Natural History Museum in London, on the description of a dozen new species of dung beetle from Ivory Coast and Nigeria (Ngel Nyaki). Discovering species new to science is certainly the most exciting part of taxonomic research. We will present those new species as a news item when they are published.
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