Fragile Beginnings: Bird Egg Collection

Egg-collecting was a mania in Victorian England, and collectors such as Lord Rothschild collected 11,750 egg-sets in his curiosity collection. Naturally, collectors in America followed suit, and egg shells became a staple in museum cabinets. The former Wesleyan Museum in Judd Hall housed a large bird egg collection, most of which were deaccessioned and sent … Read moreFragile Beginnings: Bird Egg Collection

Blue Planet: Diversity Beneath the Waves

Take a breath. Now take another: you could say that the oxygen in one of those two breaths was produced by green plants on land, the oxygen in the other by floating phytoplankton in the oceans. Life in the oceans has sustained human civilization and development for millennia, from providing food and nourishment, material for handicraft … Read moreBlue Planet: Diversity Beneath the Waves

Special Exhibit in Science Library: Tree of Life

  Our tireless obsession to name and categorize things into categories with impermeable and immutable boundaries is perhaps one of our species’ peculiarities: assigning categories to the numerous and diverse forms of life on Earth can be seen as somehow giving us assurance, in creating an illusion that we may be dominant and in control … Read moreSpecial Exhibit in Science Library: Tree of Life

Show: Sharing Science at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union

  Only a few decades ago, it would have seemed rather improbable that scientists and students would travel the length and breadth of the world to convene and discuss their work, and especially improbable that they would convene to do so in a meeting 28,000 strong. We live in exciting times. Our group working on … Read moreShow: Sharing Science at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union

Deinotherium: Making Headway

Our Deinotherium giganteum (Kaup, 1829) specimen (one of our collection of Ward’s Casts, like Shelley the Glyptodon) is under restoration after its long disappearance into storage, starting at the closing of  the Wesleyan Natural History museum in Orange Judd Hall of Natural Sciences  in 1957. The original from which our cast was made was found in the  ‘Deinotherium … Read moreDeinotherium: Making Headway

Alcohol and Pickles, Anyone?

  Fossilisation is nature’s way of preserving traces of once living organisms, humans too have devised ways to intervene with decomposition and to preserve life in a more predictable and accessible manner. We are a species of control freaks. The business of science in the 1800s was to collect and classify all known life on the … Read moreAlcohol and Pickles, Anyone?