Support the WoRMS editors | Flanders Marine Institute

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Support the WoRMS editors

WoRMS, the World Register of Marine Species, is the list of all life in the ocean. Currently, more than 200 editors across the world, each with their expertise in a certain taxonomic group, are working on this Register voluntarily. Each year up to 2,000 newly described species are added to the Register.

WoRMS, the World Register of Marine Species aims to capture the names of all species described since the pioneering work of Carl Linnaeus and is continuously updated and improved by a group of taxonomic experts, 'the editors'.

Completing and correcting WoRMS requires an enormous continuing effort and is entirely dependent on the expertise and time of the editors. On top of that, it is a race against time as species are at risk of disappearing due to changing maritime conditions (such as warming, pollution and acidification), before they are discovered.

Our support: coordination and dissemination of funds to the WoRMS editors, for example by assigning WoRMS editors grants with a value of EUR 500

Your gift is used to support the work of the WoRMS editors: including filling gaps in coverage, participation in international workshops and meetings, expanding the content and enhancing the quality of taxonomic databases, engaging personnel for verification of taxonomic information, and purchase of scientific literature.

More information about sponsors and an overview of all WoRMS activities can be found on the WoRMS website.


WoRMS editor grants 2021

During 2021, the VLIZ Philanthropy program was able to issue four grants to support WoRMS editors in making WoRMS more complete. This resulted in about 5.100 edits and additions to WoRMS and its sub-registers. Seven editors responded to the call, which was launched June 2021. After careful consideration, four applications were deemed suitable, and each received 500 Euro to make WoRMS more complete. The editors and/or their students added missing information with the focus on original names, original descriptions, information related to the type specimen, distributions, and images.

  • The first grant was carried out jointly by Tammy Horton, chief editor of the Amphipoda in WoRMS, and Georgina Valls Domedel, temporary editor of the World Amphipoda Database (WAD). Both are situated in the United Kingdom. In total, they linked 167 accepted Amphipoda (sub)species to their original name. Furthermore, more than 400 type species were linked, resulting in all 2.108 genera (accepted and unaccepted) in WAD now having a type species. More than 1.100 edits were made to existing entries, including linkage to original names and original descriptions, and edits of the habitat information or the fossil range.
  • Silvia S. Sala from Argentina filled gaps in DiatomBase, one of the subregisters of WoRMS. Together with her taxonomic editor colleagues José M. Guerrero, Anabel A. Lamaro, Amelia A. Vouilloud and John P. Kociolek, she focused on completing information for 459 diatom taxa, erected by Joaquín Frenguelli. During the grant, 310 original line drawings were added, 277 names edited, more than 600 distributional data (including type localities) entered, as well as information for 246 specimens, and 39 notes. Furthermore, PDFs for the Frenguelli publications were added, in parallel with some other diatom publications.
  • Stephanie Pflaumbaum, a student from Germany, added new information for the fossil freshwater and brackish Bivalvia. Under the supervision of taxonomic editors Thomas A. Neubauer and Simon Schneider, Stephanie added more than 400 type localities (mostly TDWG4 polygons) and 332 fossil attributes.

Unfortunately, due to unexpected and unforeseen circumstances, the fourth grant, regarding free-living Nematoda, could not be completed. This grant work will most likely be resumed at a later date. We would like to thank everyone who supported the VLIZ Philanthropy project “Support the WoRMS editors”, which results in these fruitful grants.

WoRMS editor grants 2019 - 2021

In 2019 the first WoRMS editors grants were awarded to 5 taxonomic editors, in 2020 followed by 4 taxonomic editors, in 2021 5 taxonomic editors received a grant. With their 500 EUR grant they managed to make WoRMS more complete.