I love working in natural history museums because of the biodiversity trove that they hold, and because there are always surprises. You never know what hidden treasures you may find (see “The Bone Dagger Discovery“), and you can’t anticipate all of the ways that collections may be used. Museums are also great places to provide hands-on, active learning about biodiversity science to students.

As Staff Curator at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ), I manage the museum’s bird, egg, and sound collections, and co-manage the archival collections. I also mentor many students through the MVZ Undergraduate Program and the UC Berkeley Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program. I find this one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.

I am also involved in the broader collections community, especially with regard to facilitating online access to biodiversity data (mostly specimen-based). Projects include:

  • Arctos – A shared collaborative, community-driven collection management information system
  • VertNet – A portal for aggregated biodiversity data
Comparing Sagebrush and Bell’s Sparrow specimens in the MVZ with Dr. Peter Pyle.

Featured image: Specimens of Barred Owls (Strix varia) in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.