Zoological nomenclature

3-7 June 2019

Course description
Taxonomists need a common language worldwide. This is provided by the international codes of nomenclature. Although several codes exist, according to the organisms at stake, they all follow similar modes of introduction of new names (through “publications”, strictly defined), of allocation of names to taxa (through “types”) and of establishment of the valid name for a taxon (through priority, first-reviser, usage, etc.). As biological nomenclature is rarely taught in academic formations, many taxonomists have difficulties mastering it. This training will provide an overview of the history and epistemology of biological nomenclature, and a discussion of the relationships between phylogeny, taxonomy and nomenclature. The zoological code will be presented in detail, and a few comments will be given concerning the other codes (including the botanical one). The recent problems and projects of nomenclature will be discussed.

Lecture topics
• What is taxonomy? What is nomenclature? Name, taxon, nomenclatural rank, taxonomic category. Species and supraspecific taxa. The relationships between phylogeny, taxonomy and nomenclature.
• History and epistemology of the international codes of nomenclature.
• The international code of zoological nomenclature.
• Problems and projects of nomenclature.

Seminar topics
• Nomenclature of higher taxa in zoology.
• What is a diagnosis in zoological taxonomy and nomenclature?
• Zoobank and electronic publications.
• Describing new species without preserved specimens?
• Other burning questions of zoological nomenclature.

Practical experiences (2.5 days) will include: exercises in zoological nomenclature and transforming phylogenetic data into a taxonomy and a nomenclature.

Course language

Target audience
MSc students, PhD students, postdocs, early career researchers, and professional taxonomists interested in a refreshing course or in-depth training in nomenclature.
Criteria for selection will be motivation and usefulness of the training for your career.

Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris


Prof. Alain Dubois - Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris
Prof. Annemarie Ohler - Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris

Participant quota
Min. 10 people
Max. 20 people
**Course will be cancelled if the minimum of 10 participants is not reached.

Travel, accommodation, and meals are not included.


Application deadline

Payment deadline and details will be provided upon acceptance to the course.

ForBio is a co-organiser of this course and provides financial support. It will cover the course fee for its members.

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