As the worlds first “official” cybertaxonomist a lot of people naturally respond, “cyber what?” when they first hear the term. The real credit for the word goes to Quentin Wheeler, former Keeper of Entomology at the NHM, and now vice president and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University. But what does cybertaxonomy actually mean? Not surprisingly different people have different definitions. A wiki on the website relating to the European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy (EDIT), presents three possible definitions:
I am not sure I find any of these definitions satisfactory. Perhaps Quentin's vision for his "International Institute for Species Exploration" which he defines and a place that will "fuse taxonomy with computer science and engineering", cuts closer to his original intended definition of cybertaxonomy. For me, the emerging field of "biodiversity informatics" is perhaps the closest match to some of what my colleagues and I actually do, but for most people "biodiversity informatics" is no more self-explanatory that cybertaxonomy.
To my way of thinking, taxonomy is simply the science of classification, and cyber relates to the use of computers and networks. Therefore how about
“the use of computers and the World Wide Web in a program of taxonomic research”.
This way just about all biological taxonomists are cybertaxonomist now!