Blog

DigiVol - Mel Ward's Crustaceans

By: Marsha Canning, Category: Museullaneous, Date: 22 May 2013

Come crabbing with us on an expedition through Fiji, Hawaii, Cuba and the Atlantic coast of the USA…. all from the comfort of your couch!

DigiVol transcriber

Megan Edey © Australian Museum

The Australian Museum in partnership with the Atlas of Living Australia has created a site that allows volunteers to assist the museum in undertaking the monumental task of transcribing its collections, anywhere and at any time. This site called the Biodiversity Volunteer Portal features a number of expeditions which allows you to transcribe specimen labels, field journals and notes.

We are excited to announce that a new expedition titled Mel Ward’s Crustaceans - Cabinet 2 has just been uploaded to the Biodiversity Volunteer Portal. By delving into this expedition you will be able to view and transcribe the labels of some of the 25,000 crabs collected by marine zoologist Charles Melbourne Ward (1903–1966) from Australia and abroad.

Ward, at the age of 23, retired from his budding career as an actor, acrobat, eccentric dancer and comedian who also played the saxophone and clarinet, and followed his life-long love of crabs and marine zoology. Throughout Ward’s career as a naturalist and marine zoologist he had a long and productive relationship with the Australian Museum, becoming an honorary zoologist in 1929. Ward collected specimens extensively from Australia, Samoa, Fiji, Hawaii, Cuba, Panama, Mexico and along the Atlantic and Californian coasts of the U.S.A. on behalf of the Australian Museum.

Ward kindly donated his scientific collections and library to the Museum. It is specimens in these collections which you will be able to discover by undertaking the Mel Ward’s Crustaceans - Cabinet 2 expedition.