Monday, November 26, 2012

UW Collections Manager, Talk & Tour, Nov 28

Dr. James Maley to talk about rails and give a tour of the University’s vertebrate collections: We have all heard of splitters vs. lumpers when it comes to dealing with bird species, but how do scientists determine whether two species really should be lumped together as a single species or whether a single species should be divided into two or more? Dr. James Maley, Collections Manager for the University of Wyoming’s Museum of Vertebrates, will touch on this issue as he discusses his Ph.D. research on the very similar Clapper and King rails during the November public meeting. James used morphology (the study of the form and structure of organisms), genetics, and ecological adaptations to salt vs freshwater marshes to better understand what differentiates Clapper and King Rails--in essence what defines them as species. He also used specimens housed in museums throughout the United States to understand the genetic diversity of the Clapper/King Rail complex, often using scrapings of toe pads from specimens when tissue samples were not available. After his talk, James will provide a tour of the collections at the University of Wyoming Museum of Vertebrates to highlight the importance and utility of bird specimens for avian research and conservation.

We will also be holding a public vote: At this meeting, our members will vote for three new Board Members (Anika Mahoney, James Maley, Vicki Henry), President (Sophie Osborn), Vice President (Brian Waitkus), and Secretary (Julie Hart) at the meeting before the program.  If you are unable to attend, please email your vote to  Thanks for your support!

When & Where: Wednesday, Nov. 28, 6:30pm Bird Chat & Refreshments, 7:00pm Short Business Meeting & Program, UW Berry Center, corner of 10th & Lewis Streets.

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