Page 9 - FLMNH_Annual_Report_2011-2012

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annual report
2011-2012
9
Informatics
Collaborating with the UF College of Engineering,
Reed Beaman developed cyberinfrastructure, including
virtual computing resources, to support digitization
of collections. Nico Cellinese continued to develop
informatics websites, including TOLKIN, the Tree of
Life Knowledge and Information Network, and BiSciCol
Tracker, an NSF-funded project to tag and track
biodiversity in scientific collections.
Invertebrate Zoology
Gustav Paulay’s global project to genetically bar code
marine invertebrates featured species from Florida,
Moorea Island and the Hawaiian Islands. Fred Thompson
completed the first modern annotated checklist and
bibliography of the land and freshwater snails of Mexico
and Central America.
The Katharine Ordway Chair
in Ecosystem Conservation
Scott Robinson and his students focused on
understanding how the details of bird behavior, such
as “decision rules” governing dispersal, social behavior,
incubation rhythms and mating systems, make birds
more or less vulnerable to human-generated changes in
the environment.
Mammalogy
Using DNA analysis, David Reed’s lab studied the
effects of climate change on gene flow in bats on
Caribbean islands, and developed distribution models
for human-hosted lice species to evaluate the
colonization of the Americas by ancient humans.
Molecular Systematics and
Evolutionary Genetics Laboratory
Pam Soltis and colleagues published the genome of
Amborella
, a shrub found only on the Gondwanan island
of New Caledonia. Lab employees, including Matt
Gitzendanner, also studied other plant diversity in New
Caledonia and conservation genetics of rare Florida
plant species.
Ornithology
Along with students and colleagues, David Steadman
investigated ancient and modern ecosystems of the
West Indies, focusing on the Pleistocene (ice age)
versus the Holocene (more modern) dynamics of
terrestrial plant and animal communities in the Bahamas.
PALEONTOLOGY
Invertebrate Paleontology
Michal Kowalewski, formerly of Virginia Tech, joined
the Florida Museum as the new Jon L. and Beverly A.
Thompson Chair of Invertebrate Paleontology. Through
the efforts of Roger Portell, other staff, students and
post-docs, the Invertebrate Paleontology program
collected fossils in Curacao, Cuba, Florida and Panama.
Paleobotany and Palynology
Steven Manchester analyzed the oldest-known
grapes and discovered the oldest raisin, from the Late
Cretaceous Deccan Intertrappean beds of India.
Vertebrate Paleontology
At the Cerrejon coal mine in Colombia, Jonathan Bloch
and colleagues discovered more fossils of the first
vertebrates and plants from a neotropical rain forest.
With eight other institutions and the UF College of
Engineering, Bruce MacFadden is directing the NSF-
funded Partnership for International Research and
Education to collect and analyze fossils and other
geological specimens excavated during expansion
of the Panama Canal.
Postdoctoral researcher Aaron Wood scans the skull of a
34-million-year-old extinct species from Nebraska closely
related to cats. The Vertebrate Paleontology Division
acquired the 3-D scanner with an NSF grant.
Archaeology Curator Emeritus Jerry Milanich, pictured in the
background here as a UF graduate student in 1969 at the Yellow
Bluffs-Whitaker Mound site in Sarasota County, observes as
county officials discuss details of further work at the location.