August 18, 2017
April 25th, 2017
April 24, 2017
March 27th, 2017
March 2, 2017 - Spring is an exciting time at the LSU Museum of Natural Science. There are currently sixteen graduate students continuing the legacy of ornithological excellence at the LSUMNS – several of the older cohort are preparing to defend their dissertations, others are eagerly planning summer expeditions in Indonesia, Bolivia, and Brazil, and many of us are preparing to share our work at scientific meetings across the country. In our spare time, you can find us behind binoculars keeping tabs on the local bird life – especially now that early spring migrants are arriving in Louisiana.
January 5, 2017
September 9, 2016 - Sri Lankan herpetologist Sudesh Batuwita named a new species of scincid lizard (Eutropis austini) after curator Chris Austin “for his contributions to the systematics of the scincid fauna of Sri Lanka.” The paper was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Herpetology and uses morphology to distinguish this species as new to science. Eutropis austini is found only in the Central Hills of Sri Lanka above 500 meters in elevation. In order to describe a species as new to science researchers must follow a very rigorous procedure with strict rules put in place by the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) and have it published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The LSU Museum of Natural Science's "Special Saturdays" program schedule is now posted! Join us for fun filled Saturdays once a month to learn more about the natural world (activities best suited for ages 5-12). Find out more about Special Saturdays and pre-register for a session HERE.
Researchers from LSU (Jeremy M. Brown and Eric N. Rittmeyer), in collaboration with colleagues at Florida State University, are shedding light on how often and where species hybridize through time, thanks to the rediscovery of 40-year-old tissue samples preserved at LSU's Museum of Natural Science (LSUMNS). In a recent study published in Ecology and Evolution1, they show that two species of chorus frogs now form hybrids across a much wider area of Louisiana and Mississippi than they did just 30-40 years earlier. A widening area of hybridization has important implications for the future of these species and suggests that recent alterations to their environment have affected their fitness or dispersal ability.
LSU doctoral student and native Brazilian Glaucia Del-Rio is the first in the College of Science to receive the American Association of University Women, or AAUW, doctoral fellowship. The AAUW has been awarding the fellowship since 1888 making it the oldest non-institutional source of graduate funding for women in the United States.
Most people in Baton Rouge probably didn't have plans for 11:40 p.m. on Thursday night, 21 April 2016. Six LSUMNS ornithology graduate students, however, were meeting at this time after a few hours (at best!) of sleep to attempt breaking the record for most bird species seen or heard in the state of Louisiana in a day. Crazy? Perhaps, but it is a great excuse to get outside and see a lot of birds during spring migration when bird diversity is at its peak in the state. Also, this Big Day event is an annual tradition that raises funds for graduate student research in ornithology. The Big Day participants this year were Glaucia Del-Rio, Oscar Johnson, Andre Moncrieff, Marco Rego, Glenn Seeholzer, and Ryan Terrill.
This year the 2016 LSUMNS Ornithology T-shirt will feature a Hooded Merganser design (shown above) drawn by LSUMNS alum Curt Burney. If you would like to purchase a t-shirt, email Glaucia Del Rio (email@example.com) with the amount of shirts and size(s) you want OR print out the T-SHIRT ORDER FORM and mail it (along with payment) to the museum (address below).
It is an exciting time to be here at the LSU Museum of Natural Science. We are pleased to report that sixteen graduate students are working to sustain the ornithological inertia of this institution! If you plan a visit to the Museum (you are always welcome), be prepared for enthusiasm and bird-talk. In addition to the stimulating camaraderie here at the LSUMNS, we are excited about the nearly completed synthesis of the bird tissue and skin databases, and about the planning for our summer 2016 expeditions to Brazil and Peru. During our spare moments we are also sneaking off to keep tabs on the local bird life-especially now that the early spring migrants are arriving in Louisiana.