Harvard University's Caribbean Insects: About Us

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Also visit the Farrell Lab main page for more information about biodiversity and entomology research at Harvard


Field Station

The Cornell-Punta Cana Biodiversity Lab is the most sophisticated field station used by Harvard and Cornell expeditions to the Dominican Republic. The March 2002 Harvard expedition was based at this extraordinary station set in Punta Cana in the easternmost region of the Dominican Republic. This intensive eight day field trip provided the context for application of the knowledge learned during the eight weeks of preparation learning the major families of insects in the course laboratory in Cambridge.

The field trip gave the students a chance to experience the reality of tropical field entomology, and familiarity with the major groups of tropical insects that cannot be gained from a text book.

The field station was built through a collaboration between the Fundacion Ecologica Punta Cana (FEPC) and Cornell University as part of Punta Cana's Environmental Program. It was kindly made open to the Harvard group by Director Eloy Rodriguez and Mr. Ted Kheel, the founders of this extraordinary station. The facilities, administrative stability and the excellent infrastructure at the Punta Cana lab were indispensable to the success of this field course. The station provided a stable, air-conditioned environment in which the group could prepare specimens complete with labels and barcodes, obtain high resolution digital photographs, and create an online database that holds these data and images in a searchable format. See section on "Imaging and Databasing"

The lab is built about half a mile from the Punta Cana resort accomadations, adjacent to a small network of well organised organic vegetable and fruit gardens. Between the lab and the sea is a nature reserve with paths and with a series of protected lagoons, all a part of the Punta Cana Environmental Program. This mangrove cuckoo was seen resting in the shade in a tree next to the research station.

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