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MCZ News & Events

For the last 2 years, Peter Fried, an expert in archival-quality 3D imaging at NYU, has been scanning and making 3D models of Blaschka marine invertebrates from the MCZ and Cornell University collections. You can view some of the 3D images and learn more about the models and the digitization process at Peter's website.

MCZ Faculty-Curator Naomi Pierce was one of five recipients of the Verrill Medal from the Yale Peabody Museum. The award is the highest honor given by the Curators of the Yale Peabody Museum, and is intended to honor "signal practitioners in the arts of natural history and natural sciences." Past recipients from the MCZ include Ernst Mayr and Edward O. Wilson. (November 2016)

MCZ Director and Faculty-Curator James Hanken was part of a team that discovered three new species of miniaturized salamanders. Found in Oaxaca, Mexico, the salamanders are considered endangered. The findings are published in PeerJ and featured in National Geographic.
(15 November 2016)

Members of the Hoekstra Lab discovered a gene in a species of promiscuous mice that makes their sperm faster and more virile, compared to a closely related monogamous species. The paper is available as a preprint through bioRxiv and you can also read coverage in Science. (18 October 2016)

Congratulations to MCZ Faculty-Curator Naomi Pierce, one of five grant recipients of the second cycle of grants awarded from the Harvard Global Instituted (HGI). HGI grants are designed to support research initiatives that develop innovative solutions to global problems by drawing on collaboration of faculty within Harvard and with colleagues overseas. (12 October 2016)

Congratulations to MCZ Faculty-Curator Hopi Hoekstra elected to the Board of Directors of the Genetics Society of America for 2017 and 2018. (28 September 2016)

Gerard Talavera, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Naomi Pierce Lab, has published his discovery of mass migration and breeding of the painted lady butterfly, Vanessa cardui, between Europe and central Africa in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. (21 September 2016)

On September 7, 2016, the MCZ signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Institute of Ecology, South Korea. The MOU will promote and facilitate joint research and educational activities by people at NIE and Harvard.

Photo credit: NOAA

Sea Creatures in Glass: The Blaschka Marine Animals at Harvard, a new book about the MCZ collection, is available now for pre-order on Amazon. It features stunning images of the second-largest such collection in the world.

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).

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