Collembola ID for the Dead Wood Movie trailer

I happened to mention the Dead Wood Courses and the Dead Wood Movie trailer to Dr. Nataliya A. Kuznetsova, and Mikhail B. Potapov (both from Moscow State Pedagogical University) identified those monster blue Collembola from mt. Hokusan, Japan for me!

“This is a rare species of Onychiuridae – Homaloproctus sauteri Börner, 1909. All onychuiridae are light coloured, but those are dark”.

See them munching from 3’ 58’’. I hope one day I will finish this project and see my dreams realized on a silver screen.


Running an efficient webinar

In the corona and Zoom times it is important to be a webinar guru and not to waste time. After a successful webinar with GBIF and Pensoft, I thought to capture and share some experiences from this event, modified with notes taken at the virtual training by MBK, Copenhagen with Mette Bloch. This is my personal summary and highlights, but most of the tricks, are, of course, invented by someone else.


  • Think if you really need a live session – can it be as efficient as a forum thread, a shared Google doc, a blog post, or a Slack channel?
  • Define scope, title and goals to achieve
  • If possible, run the event in the language of your target audience, even if it is more difficult for presenters
  • Choose date, avoid Mondays and Fridays
  • Remember time zones and summertime, use meeting planner
  • Ensure call support is available: minimally, you need a experience technical host: do not host and moderate
  • Obligatory registration improves troll resistance and gives organizers idea of who and how many are coming: remember account limits
  • Registration generates a list of contacts and calendar events
  • If possible, agree to have a dedicated question master
  • If possible, arrange social media support for before-, live-, and post-webinar posts
  • Avoid making events longer than 1 hour, but reserve half an hour before for setting up, and half an hour after for overtime buffer and reflections


  • Have a compact web page ready with all key info and links
  • Create an attractive title and call to action, a click-bait
  • Title, first sentence, image and caption tell most of the story
  • Set a simple agenda, if possible, highlighting the most important section
  • Put hook(s) and take-homes in the beginning
  • Include a simple advance question collector, could be as simple as commentable Google doc
  • Stimulate activity by adding a few “naive” questions yourself
  • Consider prerecording the “telling” video to save time for live Q&As
  • If needed, think how do you capture and measure the success of the event: design survey, welcome feedback (channels), monitor social media (which)


  • Once date is decided, send your “save the date” to all
  • Good horizon of planning is two weeks, announce the meeting on Day minus 14
  • Make a long version of the announcement first (for mailing lists incl. calendar invite), then compress it into and a Tweet-sized version for social media
  • Add key links to the web page and all announcements
  • Tag partners and speakers
  • Send one reminder in 48 hours before the event (day minus two) through mail


  • Host has full control of the event, including content of private branches of chat.
  • More than one host is a good precaution
  • Host, speakers (panelists), and attendees should have different roles and rights in the call
  • Panelists and host need to tune in 15-30 minutes before the start of the public call
  • Have a “webinar starts soon” screen and waiting room enabled with attendees, all joining with muted mics.
  • Host: remember to hit the Record button
  • Moderator: start with a greeting, if appropriate, set the informal, friendly and relaxed tone from the beginning
  • Explain ground rules, allow only typed questions, say where: chat or Q&A?
  • Limit introductions to a few sentences per head, presenters only


  • Jump into the subject matter as soon as you can
  • Remember the Fish model with hey-you-see-so structure
  • Remember the pace, but control time for each slot
  • Repetitions and reminders of key points and take-homes are important
  • Change the activities, avoid long stretches of lecturing
  • Good breaking techniques are shared screens and polls (need preparation)
  • Zoom tip: Share screen -> advanced -> portion of screen. Change the size of the green box so it only captures the presentation.


  • Be ready for grave silence moments with own questions or give them to others to ask
  • Leave generous room for discussion, handling Q&As, and chat.
  • If vocal interventions are allowed, let people use the Raise Hand function. Note that the order of names under Partcipants for everyone will be i) you ii) host iii) all hands ordered chronologically, iv) all the rest
  • Close and wrap-up with clear steps after the event
  • Close the public part: attendees leave
  • Before you close the call, keep only speakers, panelists and host on, and share with each other the immediate impressions, agree on actions
  • Before you close the call, copy and save Chat and Q&A content; host also have access to archived log


  • Quick-check the recorded video
  • Start the upload of the recording to your Vimeo and YouTube channels as it takes time
  • Add only minimum metadata to the video, including a webpage link
  • Work on the minutes and updated Q&As immediately after the event
  • Make panelists and speakers confirm the minutes and updated Q&As asap
  • Publish updated Q&As at the webpage, or linked from there
  • Send messages through social media with a link to recorded video, updated Q&A, ideally within 24h after the event
  • Consider mass-mailing registered attendees with the summary report and updated Q&A
Additional resources

Experiences and links from iDigBio. Very nice resources inluding lesser known Zoom features

Example 1. Nature Metrics: eDNA

Webpage on eDNA
Webpage webinar announcement
Archive of recorded webinars
Published Q&As online

Example 2. GBIF and Pensoft: Q&A on data papers (in Russian)

Webpage on the subject of the call
Google doc question collector in the final state
Published Q&As online
Recorded video in Vimeo and YouTube
Annoucement tweet and Facebook post
Follow up tweet and Facebook post


Цифровые натуралисты: интервью про iNaturalist

Около месяца назад вышло наше интервью про iNaturalist. Алексей Серегин (МГУ) и я ответили на вопросы

Cодержит мысли и рассуждения о перспективах “гражданской науки” – гражданского коллекторства. Судя по тому, что статья набрала более 1700 просмотров за месяц, тема народу интересна, вот и прекрасно.


Virtual travelling through photos

Путешествую по фотоальбомам.

В Таджикистане в этих местах, наверное, еще куча снега, лавины.


К июню растает, снег останется на вершинах, в долинах станет зелено, цветы и насекомые


И заколосятся желтые, неизвестные науке трутовики.


2020 paper

Here comes the first paper of 2020

Christian Gendreau and I joined TDWG’s ineterest group on biodiversity data quality around 2015 and were most active in 2016, after that I was mainly listening and taking part in the occasional discussions. I expect this rather technical and heavy paper will be used internally in the biodiversity informatics community to help building practical solutions on data quality. I am grateful to Arthur, Lee, John, Paula and other gurus – for me, it was a very valuable learning experience.

Chapman AD, Belbin L, Zermoglio PF, Wieczorek J, Morris PJ, Nicholls M, Rees ER, Veiga AK, Thompson A, Saraiva AM, James SA, Gendreau C, Benson A, Schigel D 2020: Developing Standards for Improved Data Quality and for Selecting Fit for Use Biodiversity Data. Biodiversity Information Science and Standards 4: e50889.


On dead wood course preps and research stations

In Copenhagen, spring is the air, and instead of sorting my fishing lures, polyporing knives, and beetle jars, I started preparing for the Dead wood course 2020. The course will be arranged for the fifth time, and this is the fourth place and the third country where we have it, after Helsinki 2013, Lammi Biological station 2015 and 2016 (Finland), Voronezhsky biosphere reserve 2019 (Russia), and finally, we will go to the Espegrend marine biological station near Bergen, Norway.

New location is always a challenge (logistics? excursion? costs?), but with the excellent project team, and my deep trust in Scandinavian, or more accurately, Fennoscandian, efficiency, I am sure everything will go smoothly.

I am putting programme, teachers, and registration aside for now, and explore the location to give my thoughts some sense of place. I’ve been to Bergen and around two or three times, but not to Espegrend.

Thanks to the ForBio-inspired discipline, we’ve got our webpage ready, and there one can find the link to Espegrend. Reading & clicking further, one can find a slide show tour, here come just two highlights, the view…

Looks cool, right? Just the Norway of your dreams. Also, the classroom…

… looks cosy and ready to go.

I have to confess, I am a big fan of biological stations. Stations combine the comfort of roofed labs and shelter with access to fairly undisturbed nature; the station add an important feeling of focus to your work or study, and isolation from the routines of the more civilized world. The station is a terrestrial “research vessel”, your Calypso on land, with captain and crew, labs and sauna, canteen and library, and all you need. A new item comes to my collection of visited stations! It seems that only a few of my colleagues know that research stations form two very nice networks: INTERACT and OBFS.


Dead Wood Course 2020: dates and place

The Dead wood course will be arranged for the fifth time this year. A smaller course will take place from 16 till 20 October 2020 at the Espegrend Marine Biological Station in Bergen, Norway. Space and funds are limited, so I am aiming at the compact course and hope to add some new, previously insufficiently covered topics. Because of the nature of the funding, priority will be given, once again, to students from Norway and Russia, but with a few unrestricted slots.

See details here:


Интервью – мёртвая древесина: война миров, скрытая от наших глаз

Имел удовольствие пообщаться с журналистами портала eRazvitie. Согласился, признаюсь, не сразу – с одной стороны, новая волна популяризация науки пестрит разными персонажами, и я не уверен, что мне туда. С другой стороны, в общении науки и журналистики бывают самые разные варианты, от ужасных до прекрасных.

Посмотрел, кто уже давал интервью, увидел Александра Семенова и Станислава Дробышевского, и подумал, что компания хорошая, согласился, и не жалею. Хорошо поговорили по скайпу с Алексеем Кирилловым и Татьяной Петуховой, все было чётко, корректно, с взаимным уважением к требованиям друг друга на всех этапах. Я благодарен участникам Dead Wood Course 2019 за поддержку, а Анне Сапельниковой и Кристине Поляниной еще и за предоставленные фотографии. результат тут: Мёртвая древесина: война миров, скрытая от наших глаз.