Wednesday, February 28, 2018

MVZ Lunch is a graduate level seminar series (IB264) based on current and recent vertebrate research. Professors, graduate students, staff, and visiting researchers present on current and past research projects. The seminar meets every Wednesday from 12- 1pm in the Grinnell-Miller Library. Enter through the MVZ's Main Office, 3101 Valley Life Sciences Building, and please let the receptionist know you are there for the MVZ lunch seminar. The library is located in the rear of the Museum on the north side - follow the orange directional signs.

In 1910, Grinnell famously foreshadowed the value of collections for the student of the future to understand historical change. However, writing in Science in 1915, Grinnell cautioned against the demise of the collector and reminded the scientific community that “as a rule, all collecting adds sooner or later to scientific knowledge.” Collections are more valuable than ever for understanding the responses of species over historical time, but collecting new specimens is in far greater decline than Grinnell anticipated. Using examples from my own collections-based research, including the Grinnell Resurvey in California, threatened species in Australia, and emerging infectious diseases in Indonesia, I will show how collections provide insights into the dynamics of mammal communities in response to changing climates and anthropogenic pressures. I also will discuss my approach to building new collections including the management of data from field to database and the preparation of specimens to maximise their research value across a range of disciplines.