DEST aims and training programmes

Training the next generation of taxonomists is of paramount importance. We need to avoid the loss of expertise, of specific skills, as well as disseminate the new technologies and methodologies of taxonomy. In the current academic year 2015-2016, the Distributed European School of Taxonomy (DEST) continues with its two training programmes: Expert-in-training and Modern Taxonomy.

Expert-in-training programme
The main objective of the Expert-in-training programme is to give young graduate students and early career researchers the chance to acquire and strengthen their practical, taxonomic research skills through on-the-job training in a particular, specialised taxonomic discipline. During the internship, the practical exploration of morphological and molecular techniques, bio-informatics and other taxonomical research skills are emphasized. The training period usually lasts between one and four weeks and, in this programme, a single trainee (or a small group of trainees) joins a project team where they are coached by an expert (mentor). The training will be supported by lectures given by the mentor to the trainee.

For the current 2015-2016 programme, click here.

Modern Taxonomy course programme
The Modern Taxonomy theoretical course programme provides future professionals with a solid basic understanding on which to develop taxonomic expertise. These intensive theoretical courses for students, technicians and early career researchers target the basics of taxonomy, with topics such as nomenclature, identification tools and methods, biodiversity description, phylogeny and evolutionary biology, data analysis and management. The training period usually lasts between one and two weeks, and courses are attended by 10-20 trainees.

For the current 2015-2016 programme, click here.

Summer Schools
Summer Schools were organized in the framework of the EU funded project EDIT, which ended on 1 March 2011. Three summer schools took place, in 2008, in 2009 and in 2010. The Royal Museum for Central Africa, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and the National Botanic Garden of Belgium were responsible for their organisation.
Purpose of the Summer Schools is to train students in ‘Best Field Practices’ for basic taxonomic research, biodiversity studies, and conservation biology. Summer Schools focus on practical taxonomic experience, combined with theoretical lectures, providing an in depth understanding of the current state of taxonomic research, biodiversity sampling methods and their broad applicability in other scientific disciplines and areas of social relevance.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith