Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The First HAO Working Meeting - "Towards a compendium of hymenopteran musculature"

Last week (April 6 - 18) the HAO was hosting our first working meeting. This workshop gathered three of the top Hymenoptera morphologists together in an effort to summarize our knowledge of hymenopteran musculature in the form of a digital compendium.

(Above) Gary Gibson and István Mikó

Our goals for the meeting were: 1) to comprehensively capture the data from Duncan, 1939; Snodgrass, 1942; Vilhelmsen, 1996; Vilhelmsen, 2000; and Vilhelmsen et al. 2010; 2) to identify, in a formalized statement, the next steps to extending this effort to be comprehensive for all hymenopteran musculature; 3) to formalize the current state of the union with respect to aligning data within the HAO to data in the Drosophila anatomy ontology; and 4) to submit a paper documenting these efforts and results.

(top) Diagramming the potential relationships muscles might be entered in the ontology based on points of attachment. (bottom) Matt Yoder and Lars Vilhelmsen.

The idea developed during the workshop to start with clear definitions of muscles based on points of attachment for the head, mesosoma, metasoma and ovipositor. Many of these are to be illustrated using the plates from the Vilhelmsen 2010 paper before the end of the two week workshop and the rest as a continuing effort . Results of the workshop (and subsequent work after) will be presented in June at the International Society of Hymenotperists meeting in Köszeg, Hungary and made available online through the HAO public glossary Website. A final publication will result consisting of list of muscles, insertion and their synonyms. We will also make a first attempt to align the HAO with the Drosophila Gross Anatomy Ontology.

Part of the working meeting was a collecting trip to G. W. Hill Demonstration Forest. The 2,450-acre forest in Durham County has been an important teaching laboratory for North Carolina State University forest since 1929.

(top) Gary Gibson is demonstrating his method of collecting sweep net samples in the field without loosing the minute and sneaky chalcid wasps. Bobb Blinn and Matt Bertone look and the catch. (bottom) is the collecting crew about to set out (before being covered in ticks!). The collecting team pictured are: Barb Sharanowski, Matt Yoder, Andrew Ernst, Bob Blinn, Gary Gibson, Trish Mullins, Matt Bertone and Lars Vilhelmsen.