Post Docs

Shari Ellis, Ph.D.
Center for Informal Science Education
Florida Museum of Natural History

Austin Hendy, Ph.D.
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama
Florida Museum of Natural History

Jorge Velez-Juarbe, Ph.D.
Florida Museum of Natural History

Aaron Wood, Ph.D.
Florida Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama



Shari Ellis

Shari Ellis, Ph.D.

Post-doctoral Researcher
Center for Informal Science Education
Florida Museum of Natural History
UF Cultural Plaza | P.O. Box 112710 | Gainesville, FL 32611-2710
Phone: 352-273-2066
Email: sellis@ufl.edu

Research Interests

I bring a background in Developmental and Cross-Cultural Psychology to the PCP PIRE. My research focuses on the development of scientific reasoning in school and informal settings and public understanding of science. I am currently involved in the evaluation components of two NSF funded projects at the Florida Museum of Natural History- the PCP-PIRE and iDigBio, The National Resource for Digitization of Biological Collections.

Selected Publications

Ellis, S., & Dunckel, B. (2010). Creating opportunities through classroom-based early childhood science. Museums and Social Issues, 5, 105 - 116.

MacFadden, B. J., Dunckel, B. A., Ellis S., Dierking, L. D., Abraham-Silver, L., Kisiel, J., & Koke, J. (2007). Natural history museum visitors' understanding of evolution. BioScience, 57, 875-883

Benigno, J., & Ellis, S. (2004). Two is greater than three: Effects of older siblings on parental support of preschoolers' counting in middle-income families. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 19, 4 - 20.

Vasta, R., Miller, S., & Ellis, S. (November, 2003). Child Psychology. New York: Wiley.

Ellis, S. (1997). Strategy choice in sociocultural context. Developmental Review, 17, 490-524.

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Jorge Velez Juarbe

Jorge Velez Juarbe, Ph.D.

PCP-PIRE Post-doctoral Associate Vertebrate Paleontology; Mammalian systematics and paleobiology, evolution, paleobiogeography.
Florida Museum of Natural History
Gainesville, FL 32611-2710
Email: jvelezjuarbe@ufl.edu

Research Interests

I am interested in the morphology, systematics and paleobiology of marine mammals and paleobiogeography of Cenozoic vertebrates from the Tropical Americas. My approach to the study of these fossil vertebrates combines existing museum collections and fieldwork, as well as taphonomic, isotopic and morphological information.

Now, as part of PCP-PIRE, my research will focus on the fossil marine mammals of Panama, which so far include cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and sirenians (seacows). Fieldwork will be aimed at finding additional material that will facilitate the study of their morphology in order to determine their relationships to other marine mammals from the Americas. The taxonomic information will also allow me to look into how physical drivers, such as the presence of the Central American Seaway, affected the biogeography of marine mammals. Aspects of the paleobiology of these marine mammals will be inferred by combining morphological data with other lines of evidence, such as invertebrate and other vertebrate assemblages.

Selected Publications

Fitzgerald, E. M. G., J. Velez-Juarbe, and R. T. Wells. In press. Miocene sea cow (Dugongidae) from Papua New Guinea sheds light on sirenian evolution in the Indo-Pacific. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 33(4).

Velez-Juarbe, J. In press. Return to the Sea: The Life and Evolutionary Times of Marine Mammals, by Annalisa Berta, 2012. University of California Press, Berkeley, U.S.A., 224 pp. $44.95 hardback. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 33(5).

Velez-Juarbe, J., J. I. Noriega, and B. S. Ferrero. In press. Fossil Dugongidae (Mammalia, Sirenia) from the Parana Formation (late Miocene) of Entre Ríos Province, Argentina. Ameghiniana.

Velez-Juarbe, J. and N. D. Pyenson. 2012. Bohaskaia monodontoides, a new monodontid (Cetacea: Odontoceti: Delphinoidea) from the Pliocene of the Western Atlantic Ocean. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 32(2):476–484. DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2012.641705

Velez-Juarbe, J., D. P. Domning, and N. D. Pyenson. 2012. Iterative evolution of sympatric seacow (Dugongidae, Sirenia) assemblages in the past ~26 million years. PLoS ONE 7(2):e31294. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031294

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