Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


NZ researcher gets say in naming the world animals

Local researcher gets a say in naming the world’s animals

Dr Zhi-Qiang Zhang
Click to enlarge

Dr Zhi-Qiang Zhang is the New Zealander elected to the world body that resolves disputes about animal names. He is shown here with a microscope used to examine and photograph mite specimens.
Photo: Birgit E. Rhode, Landcare Research.

Local researcher gets a say in naming the world’s animals

A New Zealand scientist has become the first from this country to be elected onto the world body that resolves disputes about animal names.

Every animal needs a unique and universally accepted scientific name. In 1758 the Swedish naturalist Linnaeus originated a naming system for animals that has been followed ever since by animal taxonomists. All names must conform to the rules of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.

Disputes over the application or correctness of names are settled by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. The commission’s 28 elected commissioners hold expertise on most major divisions of the animal kingdom. They rule on applications made by animal taxonomists to resolve these disputes and uncertainties over names.

Dr Zhi-Qiang Zhang, a mite specialist with Landcare Research, has just been elected a commissioner, the first from New Zealand since the commission was founded in 1895.

Zhi-Qiang's research is centred on the systematics, diversity and ecology of mites (Acari) and is represented in over 150 publications. Since 1999 he has been a researcher and curator of Acari at the New Zealand Arthropod Collection / Ko te Aitanga Pepeke o Aotearoa at Landcare Research in Auckland.

Zhi-Qiang feels very honoured to be elected to the commission. He says the appointment is further recognition by the international science community of the quality of work being done in New Zealand to define our species.

Electronic publishing has presented new challenges for making names formally valid, and meeting the requirements of the 1999 edition of the Code. In 2001 Zhi-Qiang founded the journal Zootaxa, which is now the world’s most important publication for animal taxonomists. Therefore, in his role as a commissioner Zhi-Qiang is well-placed to advise the world’s scientific community of animal systematists of future developments in electronic publishing and how changes may be implemented in an updated edition of the Code. He is also well-placed to advise on the new Web-based initiative, ZooBank, proposed as a means of keeping track of animal names to minimise disputes in the future.

New Zealand has benefited from past decisions of the commission. For example, in the late 1970s a decision resulted in the generic name of our tanguru chafer beetle being fixed as Stethaspis rather than Costleya so ensuring it was not confused with Costelytra, the generic name of our major pasture pest, the grass grub beetle.

Pronunciation:
Zhi-Qiang Zhang sounds like “Zee-Schung Zhung”

--

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOLLOW

Biographical notes

Born in Shanghai, Zhi-Qiang was educated at Fudan University in China (BSc in zoology in 1985). He completed his PhD in entomology at Cornell University (Ithaca, New York, USA) in 1993 and worked as an insect ecologist at Oregon State University, Corvallis, from 1992 to 1994. During 1994–1999, he was an acarologist for the CABI International Institute of Entomology based in the Department of Entomology, The Natural History Museum, London, UK. He also served as a Technical Officer for the Secretariat of the BioNET-International (The Global Network for Taxonomy) during 1998–1999.

Zhi-Qiang is an honorary research fellow at the Department of Entomology, The Natural History Museum (London, UK), an adjunct professor at Fudan University (Shanghai, China) and Hebei Normal University (Shijiazhuang, China), an honorary professor at Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences (Fuzhou, China), and a guest professor at Fujian Agricultural and Forestry University (Fuzhou, China). Zhi-Qiang is the president of the Systematic & Applied Acarology Society and a member of the International Executive Committee of the International Congress of Acarology. He is the editor/founder of several international journals of zoology, including Zootaxa.

Web links:
http://www.iczn.org/What_we_do.htm
What the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature does.
http://www.iczn.org/Commissioners.htm
The 28 Commissioners from throughout the world, covering all groups of animals.
http://www.iczn.org/iczn/index.jsp
The International code of Zoological Nomenclature, 4th edition.
http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/index.html
The home page of the journal Zootaxa.
http://www.zoobank.org/
The portal to 1.5 million animal names, launched in August 2006.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

I Sing The Highway Electric: Charge Net NZ To Connect New Zealand

BMW is turning Middle Earth electric after today announcing a substantial contribution to the charging network Charge Net NZ. This landmark partnership will enable Kiwis to drive their electric vehicles (EVs) right across New Zealand through the installation of a fast charging highway stretching from Kaitaia to Invercargill. More>>

ALSO:

Watch This Space: Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Site Officially Opened

Economic Development Minster Steven Joyce today opened New Zealand’s first orbital launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. More>>

Earlier:

Marketing Rocks!
Ig Nobel Award Winners Assess The Personality Of Rocks

A Massey University marketing lecturer has received the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for economics for a research project that asked university students to describe the “brand personalities” of three rocks. More>>

ALSO:

Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>

ALSO:

Half A Billion Accounts, Including Xtra: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>

ALSO:

Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news