• Climate change considerations are fundamental to management of deep‐sea resource extraction

      Levin, Lisa; WEI, CHIH-LIN; Dunn, Daniel; Amon, Diva; Ashford, Oliver; Cheung, William; Colaco, Ana; Dominguez-Carrió, Carlos; Escobar Briones, Elva; Harden‐Davies, HR; et al. (Wiley, 2020-06-12)
      Climate change manifestation in the ocean, through warming, oxygen loss, increasing acidification, and changing particulate organic carbon flux (one metric of altered food supply), is projected to affect most deep‐ocean ecosystems concomitantly with increasing direct human disturbance. Climate drivers will alter deep‐sea biodiversity and associated ecosystem services, and may interact with disturbance from resource extraction activities or even climate geoengineering. We suggest that to ensure the effective management of increasing use of the deep ocean (e.g., for bottom fishing, oil and gas extraction, and deep‐seabed mining), environmental management and developing regulations must consider climate change. Strategic planning, impact assessment and monitoring, spatial management, application of the precautionary approach, and full‐cost accounting of extraction activities should embrace climate consciousness. Coupled climate and biological modeling approaches applied in the water and on the seafloor can help accomplish this goal. For example, Earth‐System Model projections of climate‐change parameters at the seafloor reveal heterogeneity in projected climate hazard and time of emergence (beyond natural variability) in regions targeted for deep‐seabed mining. Models that combine climate‐induced changes in ocean circulation with particle tracking predict altered transport of early life stages (larvae) under climate change. Habitat suitability models can help assess the consequences of altered larval dispersal, predict climate refugia, and identify vulnerable regions for multiple species under climate change. Engaging the deep observing community can support the necessary data provisioning to mainstream climate into the development of environmental management plans. To illustrate this approach, we focus on deep‐seabed mining and the International Seabed Authority, whose mandates include regulation of all mineral‐related activities in international waters and protecting the marine environment from the harmful effects of mining. However, achieving deep‐ocean sustainability under the UN Sustainable Development Goals will require integration of climate consideration across all policy sectors.
    • Deep-Sea Debris in the Central and Western Pacific Ocean

      Amon, Diva; Kennedy, BRC; Cantwell, K; Suhre, K; Glickson, D; Shank, TM; Rotjan, RD (Frontiers Media SA, 2020-05-27)
      Marine debris is a growing problem in the world’s deep ocean. The naturally slow biological and chemical processes operating at depth, coupled with the types of materials that are used commercially, suggest that debris is likely to persist in the deep ocean for long periods of time, ranging from hundreds to thousands of years. However, the realized scale of marine debris accumulation in the deep ocean is unknown due to the logistical, technological, and financial constraints related to deep-ocean exploration. Coordinated deep-water exploration from 2015 to 2017 enabled new insights into the status of deep-sea marine debris throughout the central and western Pacific Basin via ROV expeditions conducted onboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer and RV Falkor. These expeditions included sites in United States protected areas and monuments, other Exclusive Economic Zones, international protected areas, and areas beyond national jurisdiction. Metal, glass, plastic, rubber, cloth, fishing gear, and other marine debris were encountered during 17.5% of the 188 dives from 150 to 6,000 m depth. Correlations were observed between deep-sea debris densities and depth, geological features, and distance from human-settled land. The highest densities occurred off American Samoa and the main Hawaiian Islands. Debris, mostly consisting of fishing gear and plastic, were also observed in most of the large-scale marine protected areas, adding to the growing body of evidence that even deep, remote areas of the ocean are not immune from human impacts. Interactions with and impacts on biological communities were noted, though further study is required to understand the full extent of these impacts. We also discuss potential sources and long-term implications of this debris.
    • Successful Blue Economy Examples With an Emphasis on International Perspectives

      Wenhai, L; Cusack, C; Baker, M; Tao, W; Mingbao, C; Paige, K; Xiaofan, Z; Levin, L; Escobar, E; Amon, Diva; et al. (Frontiers Media SA, 2019-06-07)
      Careful definition and illustrative case studies are fundamental work in developing a Blue Economy. As blue research expands with the world increasingly understanding its importance, policy makers and research institutions worldwide concerned with ocean and coastal regions are demanding further and improved analysis of the Blue Economy. Particularly, in terms of the management connotation, data access, monitoring, and product development, countries are making decisions according to their own needs. As a consequence of this lack of consensus, further dialogue including this cases analysis of the blue economy is even more necessary. This paper consists of four chapters: (I) Understanding the concept of Blue Economy, (II) Defining Blue economy theoretical cases, (III) Introducing Blue economy application cases and (IV) Providing an outlook for the future. Chapters (II) and (III) summarizes all the case studies into nine aspects, each aiming to represent different aspects of the blue economy. This paper is a result of knowledge and experience collected from across the global ocean observing community, and is only made possible with encouragement, support and help of all members. Despite the blue economy being a relatively new concept, we have demonstrated our promising exploration in a number of areas. We put forward proposals for the development of the blue economy, including shouldering global responsibilities to protect marine ecological environment, strengthening international communication and sharing development achievements, and promoting the establishment of global blue partnerships. However, there is clearly much room for further development in terms of the scope and depth of our collective understanding and analysis.
    • Biological archives reveal contrasting patterns in trace element concentrations in pelagic seabird feathers over more than a century

      Bond, AL; Lavers, JL (Elsevier, 2020-08-01)
      Contamination of diverse environments and wild species by some contaminants is projected to continue and increase in coming decades. In the marine environment, large volumes of data to assess how concentrations have changed over time can be gathered from indicator species such as seabirds, including through sampling feathers from archival collections and museums. As apex predators, Flesh-footed Shearwaters (Ardenna carneipes) are subject to high concentrations of bioaccumulative and biomagnifying contaminants, and reflect the health of their local marine environment. We analysed Flesh-footed Shearwater feathers from Australia from museum specimens and live birds collected between 1900 and 2011 and assessed temporal trends in three trace elements of toxicological concern: cadmium, mercury, and lead. Concentrations of cadmium increased by 1.5% per year (95% CI: +0.6, +3.0), while mercury was unchanged through the time series (−0.3% per year; 05% CI: -2.1, +1.5), and lead decreased markedly (−2.1% per year, 95% CI: -3.2, −1.0). A reduction in birds’ trophic position through the 20th century, and decreased atmospheric emissions were the likely driving factors for mercury and lead, respectively. By combining archival material from museum specimens with contemporary samples, we have been able to further elucidate the potential threats posed to these apex predators by metal contamination.
    • Ensuring tests of conservation interventions build on existing literature

      Sutherland, WJ; Alvarez‐Castañeda, ST; Amano, T; Ambrosini, R; Atkinson, P; Baxter, JM; Bond, AL; Boon, PJ; Buchanan, KL; Barlow, J; et al. (Wiley, 2020-08-11)
    • Ingested plastic and trace element concentrations in Short-tailed Shearwaters (Ardenna tenuirostris)

      Puskic, PS; Lavers, JL; Adams, LR; Bond, AL (Elsevier, 2020-06-01)
      Pollution of marine environments is concerning for complex trophic systems. Two anthropogenic stresses associated with marine pollution are the introduction of marine plastic and their associated chemicals (e.g., trace elements) which, when ingested, may cause harm to wildlife. Here we explore the relationship between plastic ingestion and trace element burden in the breast muscle of Short-tailed Shearwaters (Ardenna tenuirostris). We found no relationship between the amount of plastic ingested and trace element concentration in the birds' tissues. Though the mass and number of plastic items ingested by birds during 1969–2017 did not change significantly, trace element concentrations of some elements (Cu, Zn, As, Rb, Sr and Cd), appeared to have increased in birds sampled in 2017 compared to limited data from prior studies. We encourage policy which considers the data gleaned from this sentinel species to monitor the anthropogenic alteration of the marine environment.
    • A Horizon Scan of research priorities to inform policies aimed at reducing the harm of plastic pollution to biota

      Provencher, JF; Liboiron, M; Borrelle, SB; Bond, AL; Rochman, C; Lavers, JL; Avery-Gomm, S; Yamashita, R; Ryan, PG; Lusher, AL; et al. (Elsevier, 2020-09-01)
      Plastic pollution in the oceans is a priority environmental issue. The recent increase in research on the topic, coupled with growing public awareness, has catalyzed policymakers around the world to identify and implement solutions that minimize the harm caused by plastic pollution. To aid and coordinate these efforts, we surveyed experts with scientific experience identified through their peer-reviewed publications. We asked experts about the most pressing research questions relating to how biota interact with plastic pollution that in turn can inform policy decisions and research agendas to best contribute to understanding and reducing the harm of plastic pollution to biota. We used a modified Horizon Scan method that first used a subgroup of experts to generate 46 research questions on aquatic biota and plastics, and then conducted an online survey of researchers globally to prioritize questions in terms of their importance to inform policy development. One hundred and fifteen experts from 29 countries ranked research questions in six themes. The questions were ranked by urgency, indicating which research should be addressed immediately, which can be addressed later, and which are of limited relevance to inform action on plastics as an environmental pollutant. We found that questions relating to the following four themes were the most commonly top-ranked research priorities: (i) sources, circulation and distribution of plastics, (ii) type of harm from plastics, (iii) detection of ingested plastics and the associated problems, and (iv) related economies and policy to ingested plastics. While there are many research questions on the topic of impacts of plastic pollution on biota that could be funded and investigated, our results focus collective priorities in terms of research that experts believe will inform effective policy and on-the-ground conservation.
    • Chromoblastomycosis after a leech bite complicated by myiasis: a case report

      Slesak, G; Inthalad, S; Strobel, M; Marschal, M; Hall, MJR; Newton, PN (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2011-01-12)
      Background Chromoblastomycosis is a chronic mycotic infection, most common in the tropics and subtropics, following traumatic fungal implantation. Case presentation A 72 year-old farmer was admitted to Luang Namtha Provincial Hospital, northern Laos, with a growth on the left lower leg which began 1 week after a forefoot leech bite 10 years previously. He presented with a cauliflower-like mass and plaque-like lesions on his lower leg/foot and cellulitis with a purulent tender swelling of his left heel. Twenty-two Chrysomya bezziana larvae were extracted from his heel. PCR of a biopsy of a left lower leg nodule demonstrated Fonsecaea pedrosoi, monophora, or F. nubica. He was successfully treated with long term terbinafin plus itraconazole pulse-therapy and local debridement. Conclusions Chromoblastomycosis is reported for the first time from Laos. It carries the danger of bacterial and myiasis superinfection. Leech bites may facilitate infection.
    • Multidisciplinary investigation of two Egyptian child mummies curated at the University of Tartu Art Museum, Estonia (Late/Graeco-Roman Periods)

      Oras, E; Anderson, J; Tõrv, M; Vahur, S; Rammo, R; Remmer, S; Mölder, M; Malve, M; Saag, L; Saage, R; et al. (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2020-01-16)
      Two ancient Egyptian child mummies at the University of Tartu Art Museum (Estonia) were, according to museum records, brought to Estonia by the young Baltic-German scholar Otto Friedrich von Richter, who had travelled in Egypt during the early 19th century. Although some studies of the mummies were conducted, a thorough investigation has never been made. Thus, an interdisciplinary team of experts studied the remains using the most recent analytical methods in order to provide an exhaustive analysis of the remains. The bodies were submitted for osteological and archaeothanatological study, radiological investigation, AMS radiocarbon dating, chemical and textile analyses, 3D modelling, entomological as well as aDNA investigation. Here we synthesize the results of one of the most extensive multidisciplinary analyses of ancient Egyptian child mummies, adding significantly to our knowledge of such examples of ancient funerary practices.
    • 3D virtual histology at the host/parasite interface: visualisation of the master manipulator, Dicrocoelium dendriticum, in the brain of its ant host

      Martin-Vega, D; Garbout, A; Ahmed, F; Wicklein, M; Goater, CP; Colwell, DD; Hall, MJR (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2018-06-05)
      Some parasites are able to manipulate the behaviour of their hosts to their own advantage. One of the most well-established textbook examples of host manipulation is that of the trematode Dicrocoelium dendriticum on ants, its second intermediate host. Infected ants harbour encysted metacercariae in the gaster and a non-encysted metacercaria in the suboesophageal ganglion (SOG); however, the mechanisms that D. dendriticum uses to manipulate the ant behaviour remain unknown, partly because of a lack of a proper and direct visualisation of the physical interface between the parasite and the ant brain tissue. Here we provide new insights into the potential mechanisms that this iconic manipulator uses to alter its host’s behaviour by characterising the interface between D. dendriticum and the ant tissues with the use of non-invasive micro-CT scanning. For the first time, we show that there is a physical contact between the parasite and the ant brain tissue at the anteriormost part of the SOG, including in a case of multiple brain infection where only the parasite lodged in the most anterior part of the SOG was in contact with the ant brain tissue. We demonstrate the potential of micro-CT to further understand other parasite/host systems in parasitological research.
    • Effects of storage temperature on the change in size of Calliphora vicina larvae during preservation in 80% ethanol

      Richards, CS; Rowlinson, CC; Hall, MJR (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2012-03-08)
      The size of immature blowflies is a common measure to estimate the minimum time between death and the discovery of a corpse, also known as the minimum post-mortem interval. This paper investigates the effects of preservation, in 80% ethanol, on the length and weight of first instar, second instar, feeding third instar, and post-feeding third instar Calliphora vicina larvae, at three different storage temperatures. For each larval stage, the length of larvae was recorded after 0 h, 3 h, 6 h, 9 h, 12 h, 24 h, 72 h, 7 days, 14 days, 30 days, 91 days, 182 days, 273 days, and 365 days of storage in 80% ethanol, at −25°C, 6°C and 24°C. Storage temperature had no statistically significant effect on the change in larval length and weight for all larval stages, but larval length and weight were significantly affected by the duration of preservation for first, second, and feeding third instar larvae, but not for post-feeding larvae. Generally, first and second instar larvae reduced in size over time, while feeding third instar larvae increased slightly in size, and post-feeding larvae did not change in size over time. The length of blowfly larvae preserved in 80% ethanol is not affected by constant storage temperatures between −25°C and +24°C, but we recommend that forensic entomologists should use the models provided to correct for changes in larval length that do become apparent over time.
    • Decomposed liver has a significantly adverse affect on the development rate of the blowfly Calliphora vicina

      Richards, CS; Rowlinson, CC; Cuttiford, Lue; Grimsley, R; Hall, MJR (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2012-04-26)
      The development rate of immature Calliphora vicina reared on decomposed liver was significantly slower, by as much as 30 h (55.4 % of total development time) for mid-sized larvae, and 71 h (35.0 %) and 58 h (14.6 %) if using times to the onset of pupariation and eclosion, respectively, than those of immatures that developed on fresh whole pig's liver. Development rates of larvae reared on decomposed liver were also slower than those of larvae reared on minced pig's liver and frozen/thawed pig's liver. These results suggest that any estimate of minimum post-mortem interval may result in an over estimate if the blowflies used were developing on an already decomposed body.
    • Morphology of the first instar larva of obligatory traumatic myiasis agents (Diptera: Calliphoridae, Sarcophagidae)

      Szpila, K; Hall, MJR; Wardhana, AH; Pape, T (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2014-02-20)
      There are only three fly species that are obligate agents of traumatic myiasis of humans and livestock: a single species of flesh fly, Wohlfahrtia magnifica (Sarcophagidae), and two species of blow flies, Chrysomya bezziana and Cochliomyia hominivorax (Calliphoridae). The morphology of their first instar larvae is thoroughly and consistently documented here with light microscopy photographs and scanning electron microscopy micrographs. The following morphological structures are documented: pseudocephalon, antennal complex, maxillary palpus, oral ridges, thoracic and abdominal spinulation, spiracular field, posterior spiracles and cephaloskeleton. New diagnostic features drawn from the cephaloskeleton and the spinulation of abdominal segments, including the anal pad, are discovered and extensively described. Earlier descriptions in the literature are revisited, and major discrepancies between these and the results of the current study are discussed. The present results allow clarification, correction and, especially, complementation of information provided by earlier authors. The relatively distant taxonomic position of all three species is evidence that obligatory myiasis has arisen independently, and the extensively similar morphology in the first instar larvae of Chrysomya bezziana, Cochliomyia hominivorax and W. magnifica in comparison to necrophagous species, especially the enhancement of the anterior part of the cephaloskeleton and the segmental spinulation, is therefore best interpreted as homoplasic adaptations to a life strategy as obligate vertebrate parasites. An identification key for first instar larvae of all obligatory traumatic myiasis agents of mammals is provided.
    • Confocal laser scanning microscopy as a valuable tool in Diptera larval morphology studies

      Grzywacz, A; Góral, T; Szpila, K; Hall, MJR (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2014-09-19)
      Larval morphology of flies is traditionally studied using light microscopy, yet in the case of fine structures compound light microscopy is limited due to problems of resolution, illumination and depth of field, not allowing for precise recognition of sclerites’ edges and interactions. Using larval instars of cyclorrhaphan Diptera, we show the usefulness of confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) for studying the morphological characters of immature stages by taking advantage of the autofluorescent properties of cephaloskeleton structures. We compare data obtained from killed but unprepared larvae with those from larvae prepared by clearing according to two commonly used methods, either with potassium hydroxide or with Hoyer’s medium. We also evaluated the CLSM application for examining already slide-mounted larvae stored in museum collections and those freshly prepared. Our results indicate that CLSM and 3D reconstruction are excellent for visualizing small, compound structures of cylrorrhaphan larvae cephaloskeleton, if appropriate clearing techniques, i.e. the application of KOH, are used. Maximum intensity projection of confocal data sets obtained from material freshly prepared and that stored in museum collection does not differ. Because of this and the fact that KOH is commonly used as a clearing method to examine the cephaloskeleton of Diptera larvae, it is possible, and highly recommended, to use slides already prepared with this method for re-examination by CLSM. We conclude that CLSM application can be an invaluable source of data for studies of larval morphology of Cyclorrhapha by way of taxonomic diagnoses, character identification and improvement in characters homologization.
    • Pigs vs people: the use of pigs as analogues for humans in forensic entomology and taphonomy research

      Matuszewski, S; Hall, MJR; Moreau, G; Schoenly, KG; Tarone, AM; Villet, MH (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2019-06-17)
      Most studies of decomposition in forensic entomology and taphonomy have used non-human cadavers. Following the recommendation of using domestic pig cadavers as analogues for humans in forensic entomology in the 1980s, pigs became the most frequently used model cadavers in forensic sciences. They have shaped our understanding of how large vertebrate cadavers decompose in, for example, various environments, seasons and after various ante- or postmortem cadaver modifications. They have also been used to demonstrate the feasibility of several new or well-established forensic techniques. The advent of outdoor human taphonomy facilities enabled experimental comparisons of decomposition between pig and human cadavers. Recent comparisons challenged the pig-as-analogue claim in entomology and taphonomy research. In this review, we discuss in a broad methodological context the advantages and disadvantages of pig and human cadavers for forensic research and rebut the critique of pigs as analogues for humans. We conclude that experiments using human cadaver analogues (i.e. pig carcasses) are easier to replicate and more practical for controlling confounding factors than studies based solely on humans and, therefore, are likely to remain our primary epistemic source of forensic knowledge for the immediate future. We supplement these considerations with new guidelines for model cadaver choice in forensic science research.
    • Cryptic Diversity within the Major Trypanosomiasis Vector Glossina fuscipes Revealed by Molecular Markers

      Dyer, NA; Ravel, S; Choi, K-S; Darby, AC; Causse, S; Kapitano, B; Hall, MJR; Steen, K; Lutumba, P; Madinga, J; et al. (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2011-08-09)
      Background The tsetse fly Glossina fuscipes s.l. is responsible for the transmission of approximately 90% of cases of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) or sleeping sickness. Three G. fuscipes subspecies have been described, primarily based upon subtle differences in the morphology of their genitalia. Here we describe a study conducted across the range of this important vector to determine whether molecular evidence generated from nuclear DNA (microsatellites and gene sequence information), mitochondrial DNA and symbiont DNA support the existence of these taxa as discrete taxonomic units. Principal Findings The nuclear ribosomal Internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) provided support for the three subspecies. However nuclear and mitochondrial sequence data did not support the monophyly of the morphological subspecies G. f. fuscipes or G. f. quanzensis. Instead, the most strongly supported monophyletic group was comprised of flies sampled from Ethiopia. Maternally inherited loci (mtDNA and symbiont) also suggested monophyly of a group from Lake Victoria basin and Tanzania, but this group was not supported by nuclear loci, suggesting different histories of these markers. Microsatellite data confirmed strong structuring across the range of G. fuscipes s.l., and was useful for deriving the interrelationship of closely related populations. Conclusion/Significance We propose that the morphological classification alone is not used to classify populations of G. fuscipes for control purposes. The Ethiopian population, which is scheduled to be the target of a sterile insect release (SIT) programme, was notably discrete. From a programmatic perspective this may be both positive, given that it may reflect limited migration into the area or negative if the high levels of differentiation are also reflected in reproductive isolation between this population and the flies to be used in the release programme. Author Summary Glossina fuscipes s.l. tsetse flies are responsible for transmission of approximately 90% of the cases of Human African Typanosomiasis in Sub Saharan Africa. It was previously proposed on the basis of morphology that G. fuscipes is composed of three sub-species. Using genetic evidence from G. fuscipes nuclear, mitochondrial and symbiont DNA, we show that the morphological subspecies do not correspond well to genetic differences between the flies and morphologically similar flies may have arisen more than once in the evolution of this species. Instead, we found at least 5 main allopatrically distributed groups of G. fuscipes flies. The most genetically distinct group of flies originated from Ethiopia, where a sterile insect release programme is planned. Given that tsetse control often exploits species-specific behaviours there is a pressing need to establish the taxonomic status and ranges of these five groups. Moreover given that we were only able to perform limited sampling in many parts of the species distribution further groups within G. fuscipes are likely to be awaiting discovery.
    • Seasonal ingestion of anthropogenic debris in an urban population of gulls

      Stewart, LG; Lavers, JL; Grant, ML; Puskic, PS; Bond, AL (Elsevier BV, 2020-08-15)
      Gulls are generalist seabirds, increasingly drawn to urban environments where many species take advantage of abundant food sources, such as landfill sites. Despite this, data on items ingested at these locations, including human refuse, is limited. Here we investigate ingestion of prey and anthropogenic debris items in boluses (regurgitated pellets) from Pacific Gulls (Larus pacificus). A total of 374 boluses were collected between 2018 and 2020 in Tasmania. Debris was present in 92.51% of boluses (n = 346), with plastic (86.63%, n = 324) and glass (64.71%, n = 242) being the most prominent types. An abundance of intact, household items (e.g., dental floss, food wrappers) suggest the gulls regularly feed at landfill sites. In addition, the boluses are deposited at a roosting site located within an important wetland, thus we propose that the gulls may be functioning as a previously unrecognised vector of anthropogenic debris from urban centres to aquatic environments.
    • Estimating crime scene temperatures from nearby meteorological station data

      Hofer, IMJ; Hart, AJ; Martín-Vega, D; Hall, MJR (Elsevier BV, 2019-10-30)
      The importance of temperature data in minimum postmortem interval (minPMI) estimations in criminal investigations is well known. To maximise the accuracy of minPMI estimations, it is imperative to investigate the different components involved in temperature modelling, such as the duration of temperature data logger placement at the crime scene and choice of nearest weather station to compare the crime scene data to. Currently, there is no standardised practice on how long to leave the temperature data logger at the crime scene and the effects of varying logger duration are little known. The choice of the nearest weather station is usually made based on availability and accessibility of data from weather stations in the crime scene vicinity. However, there are no guidelines on what to look for to maximise the comparability of weather station and crime scene temperatures. Linear regression analysis of scene data with data from weather stations with varying time intervals, distances, altitudes and microclimates showed the greatest goodness of fit (R2), i.e. the highest compatibility between datasets, after 4–10 days. However, there was no significant improvement in estimation of crime scene temperatures beyond a 5-day regression period. The smaller the distance between scene and weather station and the higher the similarity in environment, such as altitude and geographical area, resulted in greater compatibility between datasets. Overall, the study demonstrated the complexity of choosing the most comparable weather station to the crime scene, especially because of a high variation in seasonal temperature and numerous influencing factors such as geographical location, urban ‘heat island effect’ and microclimates. Despite subtle differences, for both urban and rural areas an optimal data fit was generally reached after about five consecutive days within a radius of up to 30 km of the ‘crime scene’. With increasing distance and differing altitudes, a lower overall data fit was observed, and a diminishing increase in R2 values was reached after 4–10 consecutive days. These results demonstrate the need for caution regarding distances and climate differences when using weather station data for retrospective regression analyses for estimating temperatures at crime scenes. However, the estimates of scene temperatures from regression analysis were better than simply using the temperatures from the nearest weather station. This study provides recommendations for data logging duration of operation, and a baseline for further research into producing standard guidelines for increasing the accuracy of minPMI estimations and, ultimately, greater robustness of forensic entomology evidence in court.
    • Chrysomya putoria, a Putative Vector of Diarrheal Diseases

      Lindsay, SW; Lindsay, TC; Duprez, J; Hall, MJR; Kwambana, BA; Jawara, M; Nurudeen, IU; Sallah, N; Wyatt, N; D'Alessandro, U; et al. (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2012-11-01)
      Background Chrysomya spp are common blowflies in Africa, Asia and parts of South America and some species can reproduce in prodigious numbers in pit latrines. Because of their strong association with human feces and their synanthropic nature, we examined whether these flies are likely to be vectors of diarrheal pathogens. Methodology/Principal Findings Flies were sampled using exit traps placed over the drop holes of latrines in Gambian villages. Odor-baited fly traps were used to determine the relative attractiveness of different breeding and feeding media. The presence of bacteria on flies was confirmed by culture and bacterial DNA identified using PCR. A median of 7.00 flies/latrine/day (IQR = 0.0–25.25) was collected, of which 95% were Chrysomya spp, and of these nearly all were Chrysomya putoria (99%). More flies were collected from traps with feces from young children (median = 3.0, IQR = 1.75–10.75) and dogs (median = 1.50, IQR = 0.0–13.25) than from herbivores (median = 0.0, IQR = 0.0–0.0; goat, horse, cow and calf; p<0.001). Flies were strongly attracted to raw meat (median = 44.5, IQR = 26.25–143.00) compared with fish (median = 0.0, IQR = 0.0–19.75, ns), cooked and uncooked rice, and mangoes (median = 0.0, IQR = 0.0–0.0; p<0.001). Escherichia coli were cultured from the surface of 21% (15/72 agar plates) of Chrysomya spp and 10% of these were enterotoxigenic. Enteroaggregative E. coli were identified by PCR in 2% of homogenized Chrysomya spp, Shigella spp in 1.4% and Salmonella spp in 0.6% of samples. Conclusions/Significance The large numbers of C. putoria that can emerge from pit latrines, the presence of enteric pathogens on flies, and their strong attraction to raw meat and fish suggests these flies may be common vectors of diarrheal diseases in Africa. Author Summary While it is well recognized that the house fly can transmit enteric pathogens, here we show the common African latrine fly, Chrysomya putoria, is likely to be an important vector of these pathogens, since an average latrine can produce 100,000 latrine flies each year. Our behavioral studies of flies in The Gambia show that latrine flies are attracted strongly to human feces, raw beef and fish, providing a clear mechanism for faecal pathogens to be transferred from faeces to food. We used PCR techniques to demonstrate that these flies are carrying Shigella, Salmonella and E. coli, all important causes of diarrhea. Moreover our culture work shows that these pathogens are viable. Latrine flies are likely to be important vectors of diarrheal disease, although further research is required to determine what proportion of infections are due to this fly.
    • Darwin wasps: a new name heralds renewed efforts to unravel the evolutionary history of Ichneumonidae

      Klopfstein, S; Santos, BF; Shaw, MR; Alvarado, M; Bennett, AMR; Dal Pos, D; Giannotta, M; Herrera Florez, AF; Karlsson, D; Khalaim, AI; et al. (Sociedade Entomológica do Brasil, 2019-12-08)
      The parasitoid wasp family Ichneumonidae is arguably one of the groups for which current knowledge lags most strongly behind their enormous diversity. In a five-day meeting in Basel (Switzerland) in June 2019, 22 researchers from 14 countries met to discuss the most important issues in ichneumonid research, including increasing the speed of species discovery, resolving higher-level relationships, and studying the radiation of these parasitoids onto various host groups through time. All agreed that it is time to advertise ichneumonid research more broadly and thereby attract young talents to this group for which specialists are sorely lacking, as well as increase public awareness about their exciting biology and ecological impact. In order to popularize the group, we here suggest a new vernacular name for the family, “Darwin wasps”, to reflect the pivotal role they played in convincing Charles Darwin that not all of creation could have been created by a benevolent god. We hope that the name catches on, and that Darwin wasps start buzzing more loudly across all disciplines of biology.