Basics of Taxonomy: describing, illustrating and communicating biodiversity

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General information

The course will cover the following topics: DELTA, Digital drawing, Scientific illustration, Scientific writing and communication, Scratchpads.

DELTA (DEscription Language for TAxonomy)
Participants will learn the basics of DELTA as well as the great potential of the program. DELTA is an advanced computer program developed by CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation, Australia) to handle all kinds of taxonomic data in the most optimal way. It is currently regarded as the state of the art tool in modern taxonomy and used by taxonomists to (re)describe taxa in a standardised format, which makes the information readily available for comparative (phylogenetic) studies, cataloguing of fauna lists and construction of interactive illustrated keys. 

Digital drawing
Participants will learn to make scientific illustrations with the digital drawing method using the software program Adobe Illustrator. In many labs, this has become a standard method for making taxonomic descriptions, as there are great advantages in working speed, editing the illustrations and the ease of creating very smooth lines

Scientific illustration
Participants will learn to understand the human perception of illustrations. They will be informed about a variety of illustration methods and will practise a limited number of these. Besides the illustration of biological specimens, specific technical aspects of diagrams, tables, typography and posters will be included as well.

Scientific writing and communication
Participants will learn the particularities of writing and presenting scientific studies. Main emphasis will be placed on writing the most common form of publication, i.e. the primary scientific paper. The course will explain the current structure of scientific literature, the main features of the scientific information 'industry', and the particular rules and customs followed by the international scientific community when publishing. 

Scratchpads are a social networking tool to build, share and publish information on the diversity of life on the Web. Scratchpads are free and rely on the open source content management system Drupal. The system allows individuals or groups of people to create their own networks supporting their research communities on the Web. The tool is flexible and scalable enough to support hundreds of networks each with their community’s choice of features, visual design, and data.


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.


Venue: Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences
Kristineberg, Sweden

The Lovén Centre Kristineberg
Kristineberg 566, SE-451 78 Fiskebäckskil



Thanks to funding of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (KVA), the course is offered at a discounted rate of 550 EUR (normal fee is 1200 EUR). The registration fee includes course attendance, course material (scientific illustration, manual Scratchpads), accommodation and meals. Participants are responsible for their own travel expenses.


The target audience is MSc students, PhD students as well as for early career researchers.

Application Procedure:

Please click here for the registration form. Criteria for selection will be scientific merit, motivation and usefulness of the training course for your career.

Deadline for registration: 1 July 2015


Academic level: Master, PhD, Lifelong Learning

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