Page 14 - 2010 - 2011 Annual Report

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Florida Museum of Natural History
The McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity expanded its
impact on biodiversity education, research and outreach during a
very successful year.
Collections acquired from private donors and other institutions
raised the estimated number of butterflies and moths housed in
the McGuire Center to more than 10 million, one of the world’s
largest collections. The McGuire Center is one of the world’s premier
locations for visiting researchers investigating Lepidoptera diversity,
evolution, classification, genetics and distribution changes related to
global warming and other environmental patterns.
The center also added two new researchers. Assistant Curator Akito
Kawahara completed a postdoctoral year at the University of Hawaii
where he studied next-generation techniques for gene sequencing
and published a number of research studies on Lepidoptera of the
Hawaiian archipelago. Assistant Research Scientist Delano Lewis
was hired in June, and immediately began obtaining new research
grants, authoring publications and teaching in the UF entomology
Center staff and graduate students are having a steadily increasing
impact on conservation worldwide, using Lepidoptera as flagship
and indicator species for monitoring and preserving habitats,
wildlife refuges and national parks. Scientists conducted field work
in Ecuador, Honduras, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Papua New
Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands and South Florida. They
also are leading Lepidoptera conservation workshops across the
U.S. and in other countries to promote a wider appreciation and
utilization of captive propagation techniques, habitat restoration
and conservation knowledge to protect endangered species and
enhance public and governmental support of natural history and
biodiversity education.
mcguire center
A young visitor explores specimens in the Museum’s new
Collections are the
Library of Life
Pinned butterfly specimens dry as part of the
preparation process for Museum scientists to add
them to the McGuire Center collections.