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MCZ News & Events

The 2016-2017 MCZ Annual Report is now available. Read about special projects completed during the year, faculty, staff and student awards, headline-making research, and more. (February 2018)

MCZ faculty-curator George Lauder and postdoc Mehdi Saadat were part of a team of evolutionary biologists and engineers that demonstrated a bio-inspired structure that could improve aerodynamic performance of airplanes, wind turbines, drones, and cars. Read more about the research in the Harvard Gazette and the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. (February 2018)

Curatorial Associate Jessica Cundiff gave a behind the scenes tour of the Invertebrate and Vertebrate Paleontology collections to a lucky group of visiting Harvard Alumni. Jessica showed them notable specimens such as an authentic Kronosaurus skull, inspiration for the model on display in the HMNH. (February 2018)

MCZ Faculty-Curator Gonzalo Giribet co-authored one of two papers describing a new species of extinct arachnid. Notable for its long tail, similar to that of a scorpion, it closes a 170 million year gap in the fossil record. Read more in The Scientist. (February 2018)

Congratulations to MCZ Faculty-Curator, James McCarthy, co-recipient of this year’s Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. Professor McCarthy and Paul Falkowski (Rutgers University) were recognized for their decades of leadership in understanding - and communicating - the impacts of climate change. (February 2018)

The MCZ has received the partial skeleton of a 13,000-year-old mastodon excavated from a site in upstate New York. The Bowser Road mastodon, nicknamed John Charles, was donated by the three investigators responsible for excavating and reporting the find. The MCZ thanks Stephen Vaughn, Dennis Vesper and Richard Michael Gramly for their generous gift. (27 Nov 2017)

Congratulations to MCZ faculty-curator Gonzalo Giribet who was bestowed an honorable doctorate from the University of Copenhagen, after nomination from the Natural History Museum of Denmark. (17 Nov 2017)

Research by former MCZ graduate student Talia Moore and Faculty-Curator Andy Biewener found that jerboas, a bipedal rodent with proportionately large hind limbs, employ unpredictable moves to evade predators, more so than other bipedal and quadropedal rodents. The study was published in Nature Communications and featured in Live Science. (11 Sept 2017)

The MCZ joins 15 other museums and institutional collections in a four-year effort to image 20,000 vertebrate species with high-resolution microcomputed tomography (µCT). The oVert project is funded by a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation and led by former MCZ graduate student David Blackburn (Hanken lab) (8 Sept 2017).
(image by Edward L. Stanley and David C. Blackburn)

Graduate student Brianna McHorse and Faculty-Curators Stephanie Pierce and Andy Biewener used beam bending to investigate the evolution of digit reduction in horses. The research was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B and featured in the New York Times. (28 Aug 2017)

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