Mahidol training course on modern morphometrics

Geometric morphometrics?

The geometric approach to morphometrics, contrary to what the word “morphometrics” might suggest, is a thoroughly modern discipline of biological research.

By the 90s, while this approach was just beginning to spread out of the laboratories of mathematics, the term “ revolution ” was used (Rohlf & Marcus, 1993). A revolution in the art of “ capturing ” an organismal shape, a revolution in its statistical treatments (Adams D. C., Rohlf F. J., Slice D., 2004).

Since then, the field of applications to biology is still widening, going from morphogenesis (evo-devo) to evolutionary biology, from ecology to epidemiology, with concrete applications in vectors or pests control strategies, among many others.

In entomology, geometric morphometrics works mainly on digital pictures. Therefore, data can be exchanged among scientists as fast as an email, and international banks of images can be created to help scientific collaboration; see for instance the CLIC bank (INTERTRYPIRD) and the WINGBANK (“mosquitolab“, Instituto Butantan, University of Sao Paulo)

Over the last fifteen years, several academic centers in South America, Asia and Africa, could progressively develop this method in collaboration with the IRD. This effort was also supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who organized training courses in Bali (2010), Nairobi and Panama (2012).  In 2015, the common scientific production associated with this development alone currently counts some 50 international publications.