Easily accessible internet-based platforms describing model invertebrate genera of the Balkan Peninsula as spiders and rove beetles are being developed by scientists from the National Museum of Natural History at BAS. They will collect and analyze data from molecular, statistical and morphological studies in order to lay the foundations for research on the invertebrate fauna of the peninsula. The results will be presented on the platforms: http://balkan-spiders.com for spiders and http://coleoptera-bulgaria.myspecies.info – for beetles.
The multidisciplinary team of scientists, led by Professor Pavel Stoev of the National Museum of Natural History at BAS (NMNHS-BAS), seeks to develop a methodology to be validated and adopted as a new modern standard in zoological and phylogenetic studies not only in Bulgaria but also on the Balkans. The adoption of such a methodology will allow defining more accurately the development of invertebrate genera and clarifying and empirically proving the relations and pathways of formation. The collection and structuring of new data will also allow for better and adequate conservation of these unique species and their specific habitats.
The team of the project „The cybertaxonomic approach to phylogenetic studies of model invertebrate genera (Invertebrata, Arachnida, Insecta) for the clarification of problems of the origin, formation and conservation of the invertebrate fauna on the Balkan Peninsula” includes scientists and specialists from several institutions. These are the National Museum of Natural History of BAS, the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research of BAS (IBER-BAS), the Biological Faculty of Sofia University (BF-SU) and the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics of Sofia University (FMI-SU). The expertise of the scientists is in different areas which is the basis for using an integrated cyber taxonomic approach.
The project is funded by the Scientific Research Fund at the Ministry of Education and Science (contract KП-06-H21 / 1-17.12.2018).