Talking at the Field in March 2017 was fantastic! IDT (Integrated DNA Technologies) hosted an evening event to celebrate diversity research, and winners from last year (that's me!) and this year (Dr.'s Matthew Niemiller, Patrick Brown, and Shannon Hackett) gave short updates on our diversity and sustainability research.
Dr. Neimiller studies the role of karst as an ecological niche. Who knew ... protists in caves have not been catalogued, at all! As a protozoa-phile I find this shocking. Dr. Brown is working on selective and creative tree breeding, as a means of addressing the many stresses our forests face from climate change. Dr. Hackett utilizes the expansive and massive bird collection at the Field (more than 500,000 specimens from over 100 years!) to ask how diseases like West Nile may be driving the evolution of the crow immune system.
The Field Museum is opening a new exhibit "Specimens." It will open your eyes to all the resources and work that goes into understanding the natural world around us. If you have a chance, be sure to see it!