ANTHROPOLOGY AND ARCHAEOLOGY
As part of a long-term interest in the prehistoric
peoples of the Turks & Caicos Islands, William
Keegan completed the analysis of archaeological
materials from sites on Middle Caicos Island.
To evaluate the use of sustainable hunting practices by
the ancient Maya, Katherine Emery and her students
analyzed bone and shell artifacts from the Pacbitun site,
Belize, and animal remains from the Royal Court at the
Aguateca site, Guatemala.
Neill Wallis and Ann Cordell investigated exchange and
mobility patterns revealed in pottery from Woodland
period sites in Florida and Georgia. William Marquardt
and Karen Walker undertook excavations at Southern
Ridge, an Archaic period habitation site on Useppa
Island in Southwest Florida.
Latin American Archaeology
Susan Milbrath’s research focused on Postclassic Maya
effigy censers, including those recently donated to the
Museum from the Cerros site in Belize, and the Maya
codices as they relate to the Maya calendar predictions
Spanish Colonial Archaeology
Using new archaeological evidence, just-discovered
historical documents and unique artifacts from the
Museum’s Spanish Colonial collection, Kathleen
Deagan, Gifford Waters, Darcie MacMahon and other
staff began development of First Colony: Our Spanish
Origins. This exhibit will highlight St. Augustine, the first
successful European colony in America, and the ways
that science helps reveal and interpret history.
Florida Program for Shark Research
The program continued monitoring endangered
sawfish species through active tracking projects and
maintenance of the International Sawfish Encounter
Database. The International Union for Conservation
of Nature presented sawfish encounter database
information to participants of the 2012 Red List
workshop in London as a baseline for future research.
Updates to the Museum’s International Shark Attack File,
established in 1958, provided information for ongoing
research on shark-human interactions.
Genetic Resources Repository
The Museum added 6,678 DNA and tissue samples of
plants, vertebrates, butterflies and marine invertebrates
to its Genetic Resources Repository. The Museum
shares these important frozen materials with researchers
around the world.
Nico Cellinese’s research focused on patterns of
evolution and diversity in Campanulaceae, to determine
the history of endemic lineages on continental islands.
Norris Williams and Mark Whitten continued their work
on the molecular systematics of Orchidaceae and
barcoding bryophytes and lichens. Kent Perkins
oversaw the digitization and imaging of type specimens
for the Global Plants Initiative and for the JStor Plant
Science website, plants.jstor.org, a worldwide online
archive providing public access to a wide range of
content vital to plant science research.
Max Nickerson undertook comparative population
studies of hellbender salamanders in pristine and
disturbed habitats to determine the impacts of
environmental changes on these threatened
amphibians. Kenney Krysko’s research on invasive
amphibians and reptiles focused on the growing
population of Burmese pythons in the Everglades.
Larry Page and three graduate students traveled
to Thailand in December to study Southeast Asian
freshwater fish diversity, with an emphasis on the
Cypriniformes (carps and minnows). The two-month
expedition added many valuable specimens to the
museum’s fish collection, used for ongoing research
by division staff and students.
Curator of Latin American Art and Architecture Susan Milbrath
displays a copy of the Codex Borgia in front of a replica of the
Aztec calendar stone in the Dickinson Hall courtyard.
Former Museum Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology Walter
Auffenberg excavates a complete giant tortoise at a fossil site
near Newberry in the early 1950s.