Oregon State University, who were faced with the daunting task of identifying over 5,000 specimens collected during the first survey of the fish diversity in the Cuyuni River of Guyana. To obtain an export permit, the government of Guyana required that all specimens be identified-- a tall order in a week’s time for a small team without access to the necessary literature. Faced with this overwhelming timeline, Brian and his team posted images of the specimens on Facebook and sent out a plea for help to an international network of colleagues with expertise in the South American fish fauna.
Facebook was so impressed by this scientific use of its platform that they recently produced a short video documenting the sequence of events in their “Stories: People Using Facebook in Extraordinary Ways” series.
Thanks to this innovative use of social media, thousands of specimens that the team collected are now vouchered in the National Fish Collection and are available to taxonomists for research.