A students’ opinion on the importance of natural history collections and taxonomy in Brazil

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Natural history collections (NHCs) contain valuable information that can be used in different fields of knowledge, and aid in the development of society, science, and technology. The role of curators and taxonomists in maintaining and improving biological collections is essential, as these are fundamental for the understanding of biodiversity. However, the role of taxonomists and the importance of NHCs to society have been undervalued in recent years. We, while attending a graduate program on collections at PUCRS, noted a gap in knowledge about scientific collections. Was this gap, which continued from our undergraduate to graduate years, a mere coincidence or widespread in biological science programs in Brazil? We queried 126 Brazilian institutions of higher education to assess the presence of courses related to natural-history collections and taxonomy. A total of 25 private and 37 public universities from 126 institutions searched, have a program of study in biological sciences in the curriculum on their websites. About 16% offer some course related to NHCs or taxonomy, and all of them are public institutions. Despite the budget cutting made by the Brazilian government that make it even more difficult to recognize NHCs and related areas, we believe that there should be more links among researchers from different areas and especially between the levels of basic and higher education, so that students are exposed to this subject early in their education. We, as Brazilian students, believe that more information on NHC-related issues and taxonomic subjects is urgently needed in biological science programs.




Beal-Neves, M., Mielke, A., Gamarra, S. de P., Beier, C., & Fontana, C. S. (2022). A students’ opinion on the importance of natural history collections and taxonomy in Brazil. Zoologia, 39. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1984-4689.v39.e21045

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