Our first collaborative effort is to construct a skeletal matrix of morphological and molecular characters. We hope to generate a robust phylogeny that will resolve the superfamily-level relationships amongst the Hymenoptera. The skeletal matrix will be used as a base by the superfamily based research groups for analyses of individual superfamilies (see next poster). At the end of the research period all of the matrices will be combined into a supermatrix for a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis.
Arrow 1.  
Taxon based research groups are roughly organized by superfamily. For the development of the skeletal matrix each of these groups chose exemplar taxa and made collections of these.  Based on suggestions by the morphology based research groups (arrow 2) they are taking a suite of about 72 images using SEM and light microscopy. These images will be posted on Morphbank and/or Morphonet (arrow 6) and disseminated on the web.
Arrow 3.  
There are five molecular labs, which roughly correspond to the taxonomic research groups. Each of these will be responsible for obtaining the DNA sequences for their respective taxa.
Arrow 2. 
The morphology based research units are divided by body parts.  They are each preparing a matrix of morphological characters that apply to their particular body part.  They will receive images and specimens from the taxon based research groups for this purpose. We felt that if taxon based research groups scored these characters there could be multiple interpretations of character states and consistency would suffer.  As matrices are being constructed and at there completion they will be sent to various HymATOL members for quality control.
Arrow 4. 
The taxon based research groups will send the sequence data to be added to the skeletal matrix in Sharkey's lab.
Arrow 5. 
Upon completion of the unit morphology matrices, each will be sent to the Sharkey lab where the skeletal matrix will be compiled. The Sharkey lab is developing a software package that operates as an add-on to NEXUS files and allows each cell of the matrix to be fully illustrated.  As well, any taxon button can be selected to illustrate all images for a particular taxon.  The character may be selected to show that character across all taxa.
Arrow 7. 
Sharkey's lab is working with Morphbank (Ronquist's lab) to allow the images to be deposited on Morphbank and to have the matrix images to be drawn directly from Morphbank.