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DWU's Patrick presents at national conference

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Brian Patrick, Ph. D., assistant professor of biology at Dakota Wesleyan University, recently attended the American Arachnological Society annual meeting in Johnson City, Tenn., giving a presentation about a South Dakota spider survey.

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There were 119 arachnologists from all over the U.S. at Eastern Tennessee State University for the conference. Patrick gave a presentation, "South Dakota Spider Survey: Preliminary Findings of Field Sampling and Literature Review," co-authored by Kevin Pfeiffer, a Sioux Falls native who lives in Berlin, Germany.

Pfeiffer was previously a television art director and now serves as a translator and editor in Berlin. He is an avid arachnologist and was interested in spiders from his home state and had begun a list of South Dakota species already when he heard Patrick was conducting a survey. Patrick said Pfeiffer contacted him and offered to collaborate on his South Dakota Spider Survey (SDSS).

"The talk focused on the first component of the state survey, which is literature review and review of specimens already collected within the state, as well as any preliminary studies conducted," Patrick said. "I presented information on what was known about spiders at the time the SDSS was established in 2010, as well as what additional species we have found in the state since 2010."

Additionally, Patrick plans to extract DNA, and sequence for DNA barcodes, from as many species in the state as possible and to make those barcodes available through the Barcode of Life Database (www.boldsystems.org/). All DNA sequencing data will also be made available through GenBank (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genbank/).

"I also plan to image all species in the state and make those images available through the Encyclopedia of Life (http://eol.org/)," Patrick added. "The purpose of the imaging is to take detailed pictures of each species, including pictures necessary to accurately determine the species."

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