Chad Walter Takes Home a WoRMS Award
Written by Gizem Poffyn and the WoRMS Editorial Board, edited by Adam Stergis
The aim of a World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) is to provide an authoritative and comprehensive list of names of marine organisms, including information on synonymy. While the highest priority goes to valid names, other names in use are included so that this register can serve as a guide to interpret taxonomic literature. The content of WoRMS is controlled by taxonomic and thematic experts, not by database managers. WoRMS has an editorial management system where each taxonomic group is represented by an expert who has the authority over the content, and is responsible for controlling the quality of the information. Each of these main taxonomic editors can invite several specialists of smaller groups within their area of responsibility to join them.
On an annual basis, two awards are granted to individuals or groups that have made outstanding contributions to WoRMS, either throughout their entire career (Achievement Award) or in the early stages of their career (Early Career Researchers Award). The WoRMS Achievement Award is handed out to an individual or group that has made an outstanding contribution to the development or content of the World Register of Marine Species and/or its associated databases. This award represents an annual recognition of an editor or team who has made an outstanding contribution to WoRMS.
Chad Walter received the fifth WoRMS Achievement Award. Chad is a retired Museum Specialist of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, where he is still volunteering. Chad Walter has been a WoRMS taxonomic editor since 2008, specializing in Copepoda. The copepod database was originally hosted at the Smithsonian, and was then migrated to WoRMS. Chad continuously updates the Copepoda World Register, and provides on an almost weekly basis new information and updates to the WoRMS Data Management Team, who assist him with his editing work. In his WoRMS editor career, Chad has been responsible for the creation of over 21,000 taxon pages, and is keeping the Copepoda content very up-to-date, together with his editor-in-crime Geoff Boxshall and a group of 14 associated editors. We wholeheartedly congratulate Chad on his award after years of hard work and dedication in contributing to the WoRMS database.