2017 Fall Lecture Series- New Uses for Old Collections: Historical DNA Insights from Natural History Collections of Amphibians and Reptiles
On September 7, at 6:00 pm, The Charleston Museum’s 2017 Fall Lecture Series will begin with a presentation by Dr. Bryan Stuart, New Uses for Old Collections: Historical DNA Insights from Natural History Collections of Amphibians and Reptiles.
This series will focus on Natural History, raising awareness for the Museum’s Natural History Gallery renovation project. Other lectures will include:
October 12 – Natural History Curator Matthew Gibson on Technology and Paleontology – 3D Scanning Fossils.
November 9 – Becca Barnet of Sisal and Tow on The Art of Taxidermy.
All lectures in this series are FREE and open to the public!
About this Lecture:
DNA is routinely used in modern biodiversity research programs to identify, delimit, and reconstruct evolutionary history of species. However, the vast majority of existing museum specimens of amphibians and reptiles that are housed in the world’s natural history collections were prepared long before the molecular revolution, and therefore lack tissues that were specially preserved for DNA analysis. Recovering usable DNA from old museum specimens remains challenging owing to degradation and contamination issues, but the results can be very rewarding. I will present examples from my own research of how historical DNA from old museum specimens has provided new insights into species boundaries and evolutionary relationships of amphibians and reptiles, with a view toward future developments in this endeavor.
About Dr. Bryan Stuart:
Bryan Stuart is Curator of Herpetology at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. He has a B.Sc. in Biology from Cornell University, an M.Sc. in Zoology from North Carolina State University, and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Illinois, and held a postdoc appointment at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, before returning to Raleigh to join the museum in September 2008. His research interests are in the biodiversity, systematics, biogeography and conservation of amphibians and reptiles. Much of his research has focused on amphibians and reptiles of the Old World tropics, especially Southeast Asia, where he has maintained an active field program for the past 18 years. He has particular interest in using molecular tools to define species boundaries and unravel their evolutionary histories.
(Photo credit: CVB website)
-Submitted by Tidelines Editor