Visiting fossil shark paleontologist to give Megalodon exhibit talks Dec. 26-Jan. 1, 2008

December 21st, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will host a fossil shark paleontologist from London during the holidays to give gallery talks in the “Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived” exhibit on display through Jan. 6

Emma-Louise Nicholls, who is pursuing her doctorate in paleontology at the University of London and visiting the Florida Museum to supplement her studies, will lead discussion groups and tours of the Megalodon exhibit at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Dec. 26-29; at 2 p.m. Dec. 30; and at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Dec. 31 and Jan.1, 2008.

Talks and tours will include information on shark anatomy, diversity, conservation and habitat loss, and Nicholls’ research regarding the role of sharks in the food web during the mid-Cretaceous Period, about 100 million years ago. She also will answer visitors’ questions concerning other aspects of vertebrate paleontology. (more…)

Fla. Museum offers presentation on history of state’s forests Dec. 2

November 15th, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Trace “A History of Florida Forests” with author Barry Walsh as she takes visitors on a natural journey through Florida’s unique past from 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Dec. 2.

Beginning with the discovery of this rich land, learn about the effects of harvesting Florida’s natural resources and how a young generation of loggers became passionate conservationists. A book signing will follow the discussion.

Walsh was editor for the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens research journal “Selbyana” for eight years, as well as a columnist for the “Longboat Observer.” She uses her writing to defend the natural environment and her most recent project, editing “The Kendrick Papers,” culminated in the publication of the book Baynard Kendrick started in 1966, “A History of Florida Forests.” She also is a member of the Society of American Foresters. (more…)

Fla. Museum archaeologist explores role of myths in history during Oct. 28 program

October 15th, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Discover the true story of Columbus through his own words, native oral history and modern scholarship during the Florida Museum of Natural History’s “Science Sundays” lecture series, 2:30-3:30 p.m. Oct. 28.

Florida Museum Caribbean Archaeology Curator William Keegan will discuss how myths and beliefs of the storyteller bias our history. A book signing will follow.

Keegan is the author of the recently released book “Taíno Indian Myth and Practice: the Arrival of the Stranger King.” He began investigating Caribbean prehistory nearly 30 years ago and infuses his accumulated knowledge about the Taíno, an indigenous pre-Columbian people, with archaeological theory to explain how myths and beliefs not only affect cultures, but also may be used thousands of years later by archaeologists interpreting culture. (more…)

Fla. Museum event Sept. 29 focuses on writer Zora Neale Hurston’s ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’

September 19th, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will host a panel discussion of author Zora Neale Hurston’s book “Their Eyes Were Watching God” from 2:30-4 p.m. Sept. 29.

Panelists represent a variety of disciplines and include University of Florida faculty Faye V. Harrison, professor of anthropology and director of African American studies; Stephanie Y. Evans, assistant professor in African American studies and women’s studies; and William Conwill, assistant professor in African American studies and counselor education; and UF McKnight Doctoral Fellow in English Marlo David.

Hurston was an anthropologist, folklorist, author, playwright and feminist whose work as a scientist influenced her life and writing. (more…)

Fla. Museum shark expert George Burgess to speak at Aug. 30 ‘Jaws’ science movie night

August 23rd, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History presents a special showing of the 1975 thriller “Jaws” beginning at 6 p.m. Aug. 30 as part of Museum Nights.

Following the film, Florida Museum shark expert George Burgess will discuss his research and the truth about shark aggression. Burgess is director of the International Shark Attack File and the Florida Program for Shark Research, both housed at the Florida Museum on the University of Florida campus.

Burgess assisted in creating and is featured in the Florida Museum’s new temporary exhibit “Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived,” on display through Jan. 6, 2008. Visitors may enter the jaws of a 60-foot-long Megalodon sculpture and learn more about this giant creature that vanished 2 million years ago. The exhibit also explores how humans can help protect today’s shark population and the oceans. (more…)

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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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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