Sree Gayathree Selvantharan
Natural History Museum of Denmark
Universitetsparken 15, 2100 København Ø
Having been with the Entomology Department of the Zoological Museum since 2011, I acquired the great opportunity to experience one of the largest European insect collections. I have also developed an interest in increasing the accessibility of the collections, both for the world scientiific community and the general public. As the collection manager for the Coleoptera collection and working along Alexey Solodovnikov, Curator of Coleoptera (Beetles), I have been heavily involved in helping scientists and students to access the material in the collection.
I am currently responsible for maintenance of the museum entomological collections, specimen digitization using modern imaging systems and relational databases, databasing (Specify) and digital management of biodiversity data, general management of the insect collection including specimen loans, and other loan-related correspondence. I provide technical and logistical support to curators, scientific and public visitors to the collection. As the volunteer coordinator for the collection section at SNM, I manage volunteers through recruitment, placement and also training.
I am also a part of the management team of the BIG Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN), which is a global consortium to train a new generation of systematic entomologists with broad profiles amalgamating classical aspects of biosystematics with the cross-disciplinary methodological innovations. Evolution of insects from the four biggest orders (1. beetles; 2. bees, ants and wasps; 3. flies and mosquitoes; 4. moths and butterflies) is at the core of BIG4. These ‘big four’ insect groups constitute about half of all living species on Earth and have an enormous impact on natural or anthropogenic ecosystems, even when not visible as such by a layman. Our research and training program consists of 15 individual projects, either taxonomically restricted to any of the ‘big four’ or cross-taxonomic. All projects overlap methodologically along such themes as: large data sets assembly and analyses; phylogenetics; genomics; advanced biodiversity data publishing, and citizen science. By arming students with a variety of methods and skills applicable in academic research and industry from the start of their career, BIG4 enhances knowledge, sustainable use and preservation of the fascinating insect diversity. As the BIG4 administrator, i provide administartive support throughout the consortium, mainly with bookkeeping, event planning, documentation and reportings and various other administartive related tasks.