GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Museum of Natural History Director Douglas Jones has been elected chair of the board for the American Alliance of Museums. His two-year term began at the conclusion of the organization’s 2016 annual meeting last week in Washington, D.C.
In his new role, Jones will help lead the organization’s programs related to museum accreditation, monitoring the fiscal health of AAM and implementing the group’s 2016-2020 strategic plan. He also will chair two annual meetings and participate in federal advocacy efforts around the country.
An AAM board member since 2012, Jones previously served as vice chair for 2015-2016.
“I’m honored to have been elected to serve in (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two Florida Museum of Natural History professors have received the 2016 Darwin-Wallace Medal from the Linnean Society of London, considered one of the top international awards given to researchers studying evolutionary biology.
Distinguished professor, Florida Museum curator and University of Florida Biodiversity Institute director Pam Soltis and Doug Soltis, distinguished professor in the Florida Museum and the UF department of biology, received the award today from Linnean Society President Paul Brakefield at the group’s headquarters at the Burlington House in London. The Soltises are principal investigators in the Florida Museum Laboratory of Molecular Systematics and Evolutionary Genetics and researchers with the UF Genetics Institute.
“This is an incredible honor, particularly that Doug and I were selected as joint recipients,” Pam Soltis said. “We are humbled by this award and (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Spotting native alligators and crocodiles in Florida is common, but anyone who sees a large reptile may want to take a second look— man-eaters that can grow to 18 feet long and weigh as much as a small car have been found in the Sunshine State.
Using DNA analysis, University of Florida researchers have confirmed the capture of multiple Nile crocodiles in the wild.
The ancient icon eats everything from zebras to small hippos to humans in sub-Saharan Africa. Now three juveniles of the monster crocodile have been found in South Florida swimming in the Everglades and (more…)
WHEN: Saturday, May 21, 5:30 p.m.
WHO: New York Times best-selling author Amy Stewart is available for limited media interviews before she speaks during a members-only reception and book signing at the Florida Museum of Natural History. The museum’s current featured exhibit is based on Stewart’s book “Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities.” Media interested in interviewing Stewart must call Paul Ramey, 352-213-0999, in advance.
WHERE: Florida Museum of Natural History, 3215 Hull Road, Gainesville, 32611
Contact: Paul Ramey, email@example.com, 352-213-0999
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Active duty military personnel and families receive free admission to all fee-based exhibits at the Florida Museum of Natural History from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2016 as a part of the Blue Star Museums program.
This is the fifth consecutive year the Florida Museum has participated in the program, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Misty mountains, glistening forests and blue-green lakes make Cameroon, the wettest part of Africa, a tropical wonderland for amphibians.
The country holds more than half the species living on the continent, including dozens of endemic frogs — an animal that has been under attack across the world by the pervasive chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). Africa has been mostly spared from the deadly and (more…)
ATHENS, Ga. — Centuries before modern countries such as Dubai and China started building islands, the Calusa Indians living in southwest Florida were piling shells into massive heaps to construct their own water-bound towns.
One island in particular, Mound Key, was the capital of the Calusa kingdom when Spanish explorers first set foot in the area. Supported in part by a grant from National Geographic, a new interdisciplinary study led by University of Georgia anthropologist Victor Thompson and (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Museum of Natural History visitors will have an opportunity to play an “animal murder mystery game” and participate in other free family-friendly activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 14 during opening day of the new featured exhibition, “Wicked Plants: The Exhibit.”
Visitors can speak with Florida Museum botanists who will bring specimens from the collections, or play “pollinator vision” and “match the plant with the pollinator” with Gators Reaching Out With Botany.
Other participants include Alachua Conservation Trust, the City of Gainesville Nature Operations Division, (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Visitors can learn about how people with roots in pre-Hispanic cultures from South and Central America express their identities through clothing designs and materials that echo their community’s past in a new exhibit opening May 7 at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
“Crafting Ethnic Identity in the Andes and Mesoamerica: Highlights from the Doughty Folk Art Collection” features authentic hand-crafted items, including heirlooms dating to the late 1800s, and offers a glimpse into the mid-20th-century lifestyles of indigenous people.
Compiled over a period of more than 30 years, the Doughty collection was recently donated to the Florida Museum. This exhibit reflects the many years Paul and Polly Doughty spent living and (more…)
A new national park protects the past, future of the Bahamas’ blue holes
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — An underwater graveyard of prehistoric mega-reptiles has long been a trove of scientific discovery. Now that these flooded caves in the Bahamas have gained national protection, they could be a key to restoring the islands’ biodiversity.
For four years, scientists – including University of Florida ornithologist David Steadman and Bahamian research diver Brian Kakuk – campaigned for a national park to protect flooded caves known as blue holes. The Bahamian government recently accepted the proposal to create the 34,000-acre South Abaco Blue Holes Park, along with 14 other new marine and land parks in the Bahamas, for a total of more than 2 million acres.
Kakuk’s first fossil finds led to discoveries that changed what scientists thought they knew about the Bahamas. Probing the contours of some of the world’s most dangerous underwater caves, (more…)