Survey on collecting and preserving study organisms and archiving
The Natural Science Collections COVID-19 Task Force (composed of researchers associated with natural history museum collections and/or biodiversity science) set as one of its aims to develop guidelines for linking host and microorganism/parasite samples and data. For this, we are requesting your participation in a brief questionnaire on common practices used by microbiologists for collecting and preserving study organisms (viral and otherwise) and archiving (collecting a voucher specimen) of the host organism. The survey (Qualtrics) and further information can be found here.
Survey on Horizon-scanning of research priorities on pathogen spill-over processes and their ecological correlates
As a group of ecologists, conservation biologists, taxonomists, virologists, epidemiologists, health care providers, veterinarians and social scientists, we recently established a COVID Task Force CETAF-DiSSCo joint action (CETAF = Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities, DiSSCo = Distributed System of Scientific Collections), with the aim to help clarify the links between biodiversity, human pressure and the origin and causes of coronaviruses disease, as well as to identify the actions that should be put in place to complement the efforts made in other disciplines. This effort is equally important to anticipate and prevent the occurrence and propagation of zoonotic infectious diseases worldwide.
One of the first tangible actions we want to pursue is to identify priority questions that biodiversity scientists should explore to reach a better understanding of pathogen origins, spill-over processes and their ecological correlates. The survey (Google doc) and full details can be accessed here.