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Photo credit: NOAA

MCZ Faculty-Curator Gonzalo Giribet and graduate student Vanessa Knutson are currently investigating the mysterious purple organism recently found in the Pacific Ocean. So far they have placed it in the family Pleurobranchiidae. You can read more about the discovery at and watch the live video of when it was found. Photo credit: NOAA

Prof. Hoekstra

Congratulations to Hopi Hoekstra, MCZ Faculty-Curator elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, in recognition of her distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Prof. Srivastava

MCZ faculty-curator Mansi Srivastava was named a 2016 Searle Foundation Scholar, selected for her potential to make significant contributions to chemical and biological research over the course of her career. Along with 14 others, she is awarded $300,000 to support her research over the next three years.


Congratulations to MCZ faculty-curator Gonzalo Giribet, awarded a 2016 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in the field of Organismic Biology and Ecology. Guggenheim Fellows are appointed on the basis of impressive achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment.

GRFP logo

Congratulations to Vanessa Knutson, graduate student in the Giribet Lab, recipient of the 2016 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Half Earth book

Edward O. Wilson talks to The New York Times about his recent book, "Half Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life." His charming and honest response to questions regarding his bold idea for setting aside roughly 50 percent of the planet as a wildlife reserve can be read in the March 1, 2011 edition and online.

NatGeo - Fossilized Penis

Gonzalo Giribet and colleagues' discovery of two 99 million year-old daddy longlegs, enshrined in Burmese amber, not only helps explain the penis morphology of the harvestman, it also confirms a new extinct family of harvestmen. More can be read in articles found in The Science of Nature (Feb 2016), Science (29 Jan 2016), and National Geographic (1 Feb 2016).

MITx - Built to Peck

MITx released an 8-part video series Built to peck: How woodpeckers avoid brain injury, featuring footage from the new MCZ Ornithology collection facilities in the Northwest Building. Read about the series in MIT News (23 Feb 2016).

The 2014-2015 MCZ Annual Report

The 2014-2015 MCZ Annual Report is now available to view online.

The Brain Scoop

The S. Pierce Lab has been working with an online science educator from The Field Museum to produce educational videos highlighting research in the lab. Funded by a collaborative NSF grant, the lab is researching the evolution of the mammalian vertebral column by using cutting-edge 3D modeling techniques. The first three videos can be viewed here.

Marine gallery

Combining models with specimens from multiple MCZ departments, the new Marine Life exhibit in the Harvard Museum of Natural History immerses visitors in the New England coastal water environment and presents research from around the world. Read more about the exhibit in the Harvard Gazette. (Nov 2015)


A recent article in Biology Letters by Thomas Sanger, a former MCZ postdoc, resolves the evolutionary history of the penis. Sanger examined MCZ’s precious collection of Victorian-era histological slides of tuatara embryos for his research, which concludes that the penis evolved just once in the common ancestor of mammals and reptiles. Read more about the findings in ScienceShot. (Oct 2015)


Ricardo Perez de la Fuente, MCZ Postdoctoral Fellow in the Farrell Lab, is part of a new international study that found pollination in an extinct group of flies preserved in Spanish amber for more than a hundred million years. Read more about the research here. (Oct 2015)

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