Thursday, May 07, 2009

Bud's Bonaire Banded Box Jellyfish

Sandra's cousin, Bud Gillan, is a science educator who has been a frequent and enthusiastic visitor to Bonaire since 1966. Over the years, he has become a serious student of jellyfish, as well as something of an expert on how to treat jellyfish stings.

For the last few years, Bud has been spearheading an effort to identify and officially recognise a new jellyfish found right here on Bonaire. Quite a few people in the diving and scientific communities here on Bonaire have been helping Bud with this project.

Now we're going to get a chance to participate in the naming of this special creature. Here is the latest from Bud, slightly edited by me.

There is a lot happening with the BBBJ - Bonaire Banded Box Jelly. We finished the genetic sequencing and descriptive/research. The science document is now in peer review and will be published in ZooTaxa (the official zoology journal). Also I am relinquishing the naming rights to the Smithsonian folks for the purpose of having it be part of the 2009 Year of Science, who is having a "New Species of Box Jelly Naming Contest" this June. So the public will have a chance to name the new species and learn about the process of real scientific investigation.

You can learn more about the BBBJ online here and here. You can suggest a name for the BBBJ during the first two weeks of June, and then vote for your choice of the actual official name later in the month.

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