Expedition, February 2008
By Dr. Elizabeth T. Arias
Our final spot is at Malalcahuello, place of araucarias or monkey puzzles. Araucaria araucana is native to south central Chile and west central Argentina, and is an evergreen tree growing to 40 m tall and 2 m trunk diameter. Because of species’ great age it is sometimes described as a living fossil. Araucaria araucana is the national tree of Chile.
Elizabeth Arias (Expedition leader, U.C. Berkeley)
Elizabeth, our fearless leader, will be taking the team to our survey sites in the Valdivian temeperate rainforest. She is in charge of the canopy-fogging project, which is how we collect beetles and other insects from treetops that are to high to reach (more about that later!) Elizabeth studies click beetles (family Elateridae), but during this trip she will be hunting beetles of all kinds. She aims to collect more than 20 THOUSAND beetles this year!
Also over 40 THOUSAND Arthropods.
Dr. Barry Richardson has a Ph.D in Zoology and is a retired professor from University of Western Sydney, now working at CSIRO, Entomology in Canberra, Australia. He is especially interested in jumping spiders (Salticidae) and Biodiversity conservation. He is working with Dr. Arias to investigate the structure of biological communities in Chile.
Dr. Charles Griswold has a Ph.D in Entomology and the curator of the Arachnology Section at the California Academy of Science. He works with all kind of spiders and he is especially interested in spiders related with New Zealand, Australia , South Africa and Madagascar. He is also part of the Planetary Biodiversity Inventory project, an international team that investigates goblin spiders.
Dr. Bill Shepard has Ph.D in Zoology working at the University of California, Berkeley. He is interested in stream and litter beetles. This is the second year he has been part of the expedition assisting Dr. Arias.
Hannah Wood is a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley and also works at the California Academy of Science with Dr. Griswold. She is especially in assassin spiders throughout the Southern Hemisphere.
Sergio Ocares is a Chilean para-taxonomist who continues his long term colaboration with Dr. Arias and many other scientist around the world. He is an excellent field collector.
Carolina Holmqvist is a 5th year student of Forest Engineering at the Universidad Austral de Chile. She is writing her thesis on Hymenoptera families at Punta Curiñanco. She operates the fogging machine.
Erica Benavides is an amateur in Entomology with special interest in cerambicids.She has taken many courses in the subject. This is her 2nd expedition.
Gabriela Urrutia is a Chemistry student at Univesidad de Chile. She is Dr. Arias’ assistant. This is her second expedition.