Biosystematics, informatics and genomics of the big 4 insect groups: training tomorrow's researchers and entrepreneurs


BIG4 Spring Workshop in Vienna, 8-13 May 2017 - By Si-Pei Liu

After recent rise and domination of the phylogenomics and bioinformatics, the chance for charming morphology come-back to insect systematics has arrived! During the second week of May in beautiful Vienna, all BIG4 students and supervisors attended the 4th workshop "Morphology of invertebrates: 3D imaging and novel approaches for Biosystematics". Morphological characters are the most visual monitors reflecting the evolutionary chang... show more

COMING SOON! BIG4 Workshop in Vienna, May 8th – 13th 2017 NHMW, Austria

Morphology of invertebrates: 3D imaging and novel approaches for Biosystematics The motto of this project is innovation: how to create and manipulate complex 3D data, approach novel statistical models, master techniques like multifocus imaging, as well as SEM and digital illustration, including software to create and assemble images for publications. Monday 8th will be an open day devoted to inspirational talks on the legacy and prospects of... show more

BIG4 Fall Workshop in Sweden, 10 -19 Oct 2016 - By Janina Lisa Kypke

Between 10-19 October 2016 all BIG4 students, supervisors and a number of outside participants got together again for a workshop on phylogenetics, phylogenomics, citizen science and entrepreneurship, as well as for the mid-term meeting. This time the workshop was organized by Fredrik Ronquist and his ‘three wise men’: the BIG4 PhD fellows Daniel Marquina, Erik Gobbo and Miroslav Valan. They had the outstanding idea to place the worksh... show more

COMING SOON! Stockholm workshop: Tovetorp field station south of Stockholm, 9th Oct- 19th Oct 2016

BIG 4 Fall Workshop 2016 Phylogenetics, phylogenomics, citizen science and entrepreneurship   The BIG4 fall workshop 2016 has two main themes. One theme is focused on phylogenetics, phylogenomics and bioinformatics, and is intended to provide students with an introduction to these topics, focused on skills that will be useful in their PhD research projects. There will be a mixture of lectures and practicals; students are encouraged to... show more

Successful BIG4 field workshop in the Czech Republic, 6-10 June 2016 - By Joshua Max Jenkins Shaw

All students of the BIG4 consortium along with some supervisors and external collaborators convened on the idyllic surroundings of the Podyjí National Park near Havraníky in the South Moravian region on the Czech Republic. The workshop, successfully organized by Martin Fikáček from the National Museum of Prague, was the first opportunity for many students and supervisors to catch up after the kick-off meeting in Copenhag... show more

Entomological expedition to Western Cape region, South Africa- By Emmanuel Arriaga Varela

The southernmost corner of Africa, the Cape Region, is home of one of the most peculiar ensembles of living organisms in the globe. The systematic study of the highly endemic beetle fauna of this area is crucial for the understanding of the evolution and historical biogeography of many taxa. For this reason the members of the Fikáček lab of the National Museum in Prague, and of the Zoological department of the Charles University at Pr... show more

COMING SOON! BIG4 field workshop in the Czech Republic, 6th June-10th June 2016

The aim of the workshop is for all members of the BIG4 consortium to meet and catch-up with each other’s progress, celebrate first achievements, discuss difficulties and problems & to experience a practical field-based exposure to diversity of BIG4 with the focus on the dominating insect families. Location: The workshop will take place in the National Park Podyjí at the Czech-Austrian border, wi... show more

Student Conference on Conservation Science (SCCS)

After the first successful Student Conference on Conservation Science (SCCS) Hungary in 2015, the MTA Centre for Ecological Research announces the second SCCS Hungary to take place from 30 Aug to 2 Sep 2016, in Tihany (Lake Balaton).SCCS Hungary offers young conservationists the opportunity to meet renowned plenary speakers, to attend career-enriching trainings, workshops and field trips and to have fun at the largest lake in Central Europe, Lake... show more

Why I decided to publish my PhD Project Plan, a guest post by Viktor Senderov

According to Was ist Open Science? there are six leading principles of Open Science: open methodology, open source, open data, open access, open peer review, and open educational resources. If I am to have an open thesis, then I have to strive to apply those six principles to my own work. In the spirit of this effort, I and my advisor, Prof. Penev, have decided to publish my PhD project plan as a RIO article.RIO (Research Ideas and Outcomes) is a... show more

FOLLOW-UP from BIG4 Kick-Off in Copenhagen

Talks and images from our network meeting is now available on the BIG4 webpage. Please find them respectively in Agenda & Minutes and Images under RESOURCES.

First Impressions and First Results by Viktor Senderov (@vsenderov,

I recently blogged on my PhD thesis blog about the BIG4 kick-off meeting in Copenhagen. Here, I will revisit this topic and give my first impressions as well as report some first BIG4-relevant results. As I pointed out, the format of the meeting was two days of presentations by students and PI’s about individual projects, then a field-trip day, then two more days of presentations and entomology-related workshops lead by senior lecturers.... show more

SEPTEMBER 14-18, 2015: Successful BIG4 Kick-off in Copenhagen, Denmark

BIG thank you, all participants of the BIG4 Kick-off! We held our first all network meeting, with all students having a chance to meet each other and every BIG4 supervisor. The meeting involved a variety of scientific activities and social events including presentations of each individual BIG4 project, talks about BIG4’s fellow’s rights and obligations, ITN financing rules, and network work packages. Finally, ITN fellows had a wo... show more

UPCOMING EVENT : BIG4 Kick-off in Copenhagen, DENMARK (UPDATES!)

The BIG4 Kick off meeting will be held in Copenhagen from the 14th to 18th of September 2015.It will start off at the International House with talks from the project Coordinator, EU officer, project supervisors and some students. During final days, a collections-related workshop will take place at the Zoological Museum, with talks about entomological collections by speakers from various natural history museums. The scientific program of the ... show more

Job Announcement - Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD Position in Bioinformatics

We are pleased to announce а PhD position in bioinformatics at Pensoft, as а part of the BIG4 international cross-disciplinary training consortium (BIG4: ‘Biosystematics, Informatics and Genomics of 4 big insect groups’) funded by the European Union‘s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network Program (ITN). More information at: