The Gomphonema Round Up Taxon Workshop
US EPA Biological Criteria Program
Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Philadelphia
4-9 December 2016

Participants: Kalina Manyolov, Sylvia Lee, Rosalina Stancheva, Ionel Ciguela, Marco Cantonati, Don Charles, Mark Edlund, Marina Potapova, Alison Minerovic, Nina Desianti, Jana Vesalá, Meredith Tyree, David Burge, Gina LaLiberte, Melissa Vaccarino, Sarah Spaulding, Ian Bishop

1) With the guidance of the Academy of Natural Sciences (ANS) staff, we continued ongoing training of diatomists to use the resources in the Diatom Herbarium. We used the herbarium resources to examine type specimens and to understand species morphological variation and distribution in North America;

2) We met our goal of “rounding up” 12 priority species identified from the National Rivers and Streams Assessment (NRSA) program and the National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program surveys. In the process of investigating these species, participants found a number of additional taxa to investigate during the week;

3) We exceeded our goal of preparing 12 taxon pages for the Diatoms of the US web project, with 23 pages produced or modified. Of the total, 14 pages are ready for review (or in review), 3 pages are to be completed by the end of February 2017 and 5 pages require additional follow up to be complete.

4) Several participants presented short talks relating to the process and procedure of establishing taxonomic consistency in NRSA and NAWQA programs, followed by discussion.


Participants determined that the next priority for treatment in the Diatoms of the US project is for “species complexes”. This requires work and input from the Editorial Review Board (ERB) to provide guidance. We need to establish operational definitions for groups of species for assessment and consider how those definitions may (or may not) differ from biological species concepts.

We need to follow up with a trial model for a round robin evaluation of analysts based on regional surveys. How can we adapt the evaluations into a structure can be adapted for diatom analyst certification? Potential actions are to 1) hold a workshop of diatomists to produce a process for certification, 2) present process for certification at upcoming SFS meeting.

As always, YOUR feedback and comments are encouraged.