Fla. Museum lecture Sept. 24 explores new evidence of fossil porcupine

September 14th, 2006

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Museum of Natural History graduate student Alex Hastings will describe new evidence of a fossil porcupine from Haile, Fla. in his lecture from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Sept. 24 as part of the Florida Museum’s Science Sunday lecture series.

In his presentation, “Bridging the Continents: The Porcupine Enters North America,” Hastings will discuss how this missing link can contribute to the understanding of porcupine evolution and what it can tell us about Florida’s environment 2 million years ago.

Media Contact: Paul Ramey,  (352) 846-2000,  pramey@ufl.edu
Writer: Lauren Williams

East coast butterflies topic of Fla. Museum lecture April 23

April 18th, 2006

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Author Rick Cech will share facts and photos from his book “Butterflies of the East Coast: An Observer’s Guide” from 2-3 p.m. April 23 as part of the Florida Museum’s Science Sunday lecture series. During his presentation in the Lucille T. Maloney classroom, Cech will discuss both common and rare butterflies and their complex behavior. Following the lecture, he will offer a book signing. Books are available for purchase in the Florida Museum Collectors Shop.

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Fla. Museum April 9 lecture explores fossil teeth research on ancient ecology

April 4th, 2006

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida/Florida Museum of Natural History Ph.D. student Larisa Grawe DeSantis will describe research to reconstruct ancient environments from tapir teeth from 2-3 p.m. April 9 as part of the Florida Museum’s Science Sunday lecture series.

The presentation, “Reconstructing Past Environments: Utilizing Fossil Teeth to Infer Ancient Ecology,” will discuss how fossils from the eastern United States are being used to recreate the density of forests and grasslands during the Neogene period, and why tapirs are particularly helpful in revealing secrets of the past.

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Wild Florida frontier topic of Florida Museum lecture Feb. 19

February 9th, 2006

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Museum of Natural History Curator of Archaeology Jerald T. Milanich will share stories and antics from his newly released book from 2-3 p.m. Feb. 19 as part of the Florida Museum’s Science Sunday lecture series. Following the lecture, Milanich will offer a book signing. Books are available for purchase in the Florida Museum’s Collectors Shop.

Milanich’s book, “Frolicking Bears, Wet Vultures and Other Oddities: A New York City Journalist in Nineteenth-Century Florida,” compiles the wanderings and musings of Amos Jay Cummings as he explores the Florida frontier in the late 1800s. Through his book, Milanich uncovers how Cummings’ writing about “bruins and buzzards; rednecks and racists; murderers and mosquitoes; rich soils and poor souls” reveals the untamed frontier that once was Florida.

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Florida Museum curator presents lecture on island birds May 1

April 27th, 2005

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will provide a Science Sunday lecture titled “Going, Going, Gone: Trouble in Paradise for Island Birds” by Florida Museum Curator of Ornithology David Steadman from 2 – 3 p.m. on May 1.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Guests will learn about the precarious life of birds on islands, with an emphasis on their evolution, ecology and extinction.

Steadman has been published in more than 50 scientific publications and is currently conducting field projects in Fiji, the Cook Islands, Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago. He also has been a University of Florida Research Foundation professor for five years.

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Press Release Fla. Museum lecture focuses on use of lice in human evolution studies

April 7th, 2005

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will host a Science Sunday lecture titled “Of Lice and Men: What Lice and Other Parasites Can Tell Us About Our Evolutionary History” by Florida Museum Curator of Mammals David Reed from 2-3 p.m. on April 24. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Reed will explain how scientists use parasites to better understand human evolutionary history, including parasites such as tapeworms, pinworms, fungi, bacteria and mites, as well as lice. He also will discuss his personal studies of parasites, which recently suggested new events in human evolutionary history that human fossil and DNA sequence data have failed to record.

Reed’s expert research and discoveries in human evolution and parasites have been featured around the world in many news publications, including “The New York Times,” “The London Times,” “National Public Radio” and “The Sydney Morning Herald.”

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Fla. Museum hosts lecture on the chemistry behind life

February 4th, 2005

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will host a Science Sunday lecture presented by Steven Benner titled “Astrobiology and the Origins of Life” from 2-3 p.m. on Feb. 20. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Steven Benner is the University of Florida V.T. and Louise Jackson Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. He will discuss and demonstrate the chemistry behind life and explain the global model that he and his colleagues are beginning to construct. Guests will learn about diverse topics, from sugar in the galaxy to the first molecules that support Darwinian evolution.

The lecture complements the temporary exhibition “Microbes: Invisible Invaders…Amazing Allies,” on display at the Florida Museum from Feb. 2 – May 30. Microbes is dedicated entirely to understanding the organisms that can either sustain life on Earth or threaten its very existence. It is geared toward children with its interactive, technologically advanced video games, humorous narratives, colorful photographs and fun activities.

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Fla. Museum hosts lecture on "Flying Flowers" butterfly book

January 26th, 2005

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will host a Science Sunday lecture by Rick Sammon and Alan Chin-Lee that explores their collaborative butterfly book “Flying Flowers” from 2-3 p.m. on Feb. 13. The lecture is free and open to the public.

During the discussion, Sammon and Chin-Lee will show photographs from the book and give participants tips on how to get their own work published. A book signing will follow the lecture. The book includes more than 70 color photographs and notes on butterflies from around the world and is available for purchase in both museum gift shops.

Sammon is a published photographer and author who hosts the Digital Photography Workshop series on the “Do It Yourself” network. His photographs have been published in dozens of nature and photography magazines, as well as major newspapers around the world. Chin-Lee is the Butterfly Rainforest manager at the Florida Museum’s McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity and an amateur Lepidoptera photographer.

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Fla. Museum hosts lecture on wild orchids by international expert

January 12th, 2005

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will host a Science Sunday lecture on wild orchids by Connie Bransilver from 2-3 p.m. on Jan. 30. The event is free and open to the public.

Bransilver will highlight her experiences surveying Florida orchids and discuss her book, “Wild Love Affair: Essence of Florida’s Native Orchids.” Afterward, Bransilver will sign copies of her book, which explores the Florida wetlands through 148 colorful orchid photographs. The Florida Museum gift shops will have copies of her book for sale during the signing.

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