Workshops & Lectures

R.W. Moriarty Science Seminar Series mountain laurel

Join us for this series of scientific seminars on current research at Carnegie Museum of Natural History! Hear Carnegie scientists and invited researchers discuss their latest findings on a wide variety of science topics. For more information about the Science Seminars, contact Steve Tonsor at TonsorS@CarnegieMNH.Org.

 

Upcoming Seminars

May 23 

Amy C. Henrici

A diverse vertebrate fossil bone bed from the Halgaito Formation of SE Utah: insights into earliest Permian climate and vertebrate communities

Amy C. Henrici, MS
Collection Manager and Scientific Preparator
Section of Vertebrate Paleontology
Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Noon–1 p.m.
This event is free and open to the public.

This talk reviews over five decades of paleontological expeditions, most recently by the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (1989-present), in the vast, scenic exposures of buttes and badlands of late Paleozoic age (ca 280-300 million years ago) in the southwestern Utah’s Valley of the Gods and surrounding area. These expeditions have yielded a highly diverse assemblage of at least sixteen species of fishes, sharks, amphibians and reptiles. The fossils occur in the Rico and Halgaito formations, which span the Late Pennsylvanian-Early Permian boundary and were deposited on a low relief, coastal plain, which experienced occasional marine incursions and was bisected by fluvial channels. Vertebrate fossils are extremely scarce with the exception of a single bone bed preserved in freshwater, fluvial deposits. Although the climate was semi-arid, the bone bed inclusion of freshwater fishes and sharks and semi-terrestrial amphibians indicates the perennial presence of freshwater habitats.

The bone bed covers an area of roughly 84 square feet and is densely packed with partially articulated skeletons and isolated bones, which most likely accumulated as a lag deposit at the mouth of a tributary to a main stream channel during a flood event. The large concentration of fossils necessitated the excavation of the bone bed in large blocks, using the century old technique of encasing them in a plaster and burlap jacket. Once at the Museum the blocks were opened, the bones exposed, stabilized and identified. Digital photography of the blocks has greatly enhanced study of both the specimens and the bone bed.

Amy C. Henrici is a Collection Manager in the Section of Vertebrate Paleontology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History . She received a BA in Biology from Hiram College in 1979 and a MS in Geology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1989. She began her career at Carnegie Museum of Natural History in 1979 as a Laboratory Technician in the Section of Vertebrate Paleontology, and became a Curatorial Assistant in 1980. From 1984-2002 she was a Scientific Preparator and served as Acting Collection Manager and Scientific Preparator from 2003-2004. In 2005 she was designated as Collection Manager. Her research focuses on late Pennsylvanian and early Permian tetrapods from North America and Central Europe and the diversity and evolution of fossil frogs and toads.

June 6
Nathan Brouwer
National Aviary, Pittsburgh, PA



About Richard Moriarty

Dr. Richard Moriarty is a retired pediatrician and a former Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. For more than 40 years, Dr. Moriarty has been a vibrant member of Pittsburgh’s medical community. He has advanced knowledge in the fields of pediatrics and toxicology, contributing more than 20 journal articles with the fundamental goal of reducing childhood fatalities due to poisoning.

Moriarty founded the Pittsburgh Poison Center—nationally known for the development of the Mr. Yuk poison warning symbol—and the National Poison Center Network, organizations that both fostered the development of and supported existing poison centers nationally. He has been involved with a number of professional organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, Pennsylvania Chapter as the Chairperson of the Poison and Accident Prevention Committee, and Pittsburgh Toxicology Club. In addition to volunteering his talents for a significant number of civic, community, and governmental organizations, he has served as a reviewer for the Journal of Pediatrics and the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

Currently, Moriarty is President of the Carnegie Discoverers, a volunteer group that supports Carnegie Museum of Natural History in promoting its cultural, scientific, and educational missions and in developing new audiences for the institution.

The R. W. Moriarty Science Seminars program began in March 2010.

Past Seminars

May 9, 2016
Jason Fridley, Associate Professor, Co-director, Graduate Program, Department of Biology, Syracuse University
The Modern Invasive Species Problem: A World Darwin envisioned?

April 25, 2016
James Fetzner, PhD, Assistant Curator, Section of Invertebrate Zoology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History; John Rawlins, PhD, Curator, Section of Invertebrate Zoology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
More Bugs in the Digital Net: Imaging Insects and Kin Using Imaging Resources at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History

March 28, 2016
Brandon Ballengée, Artist and biologist
Praeter Naturam: Beyond Nature 

February 22, 2016
Natalie Settles, Artist
A Pilgrim in Art and Science

January 25, 2016
Jesse Lasky, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Penn State
Herbarium collections reveal impacts of climate and climate change on phenology and physiology of Arabidopsis

November 23, 2015
Corinne L. Richards Zawacki, Associate Professor and Director of the Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh
Selection and the Rapid Evolution of Warning Color Diversity in the Strawberry Dart Frog

October 26, 2015
Susan Kalisz, Professor and Department Head, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
The role of species interactions in invasion, population performance, diversity and divergence

May 20, 2015
M. Dolores Casagranda
Rea Postdoctoral Fellow, Section of Amphibians and Reptiles, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Biogeography and endemism in Northern South American amphibians: Is the Amazon a natural region?

April 8, 2015
Richard Pell
Founder and Director, Center for PostNatural History
The Missing Museum: PostNatural History

March 18, 2015
Greg Turner
Wildlife Biologist, PA Game Commission
Pennsylvania Bats and WNS Update

February 18, 2015
Stephen J. Tonsor, PhD
Director of Science and Research, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Evolution at the Margins: Adaptation to Climate in Arabidopsis thaliana 

January 14, 2015
Deborah G. Harding
Collection Manager, Section of Anthropology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Birds, Beasts & Botanicals: Gleanings from the Natural Science Collections

December 10, 2014
Timothy A. Pearce, PhD
Assistant Curator & Head, Section of Mollusks, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Tales from the Collection: Informing Snail Research—Distributions, Imperilment, Declines

November 19, 2014
Guillermo W. Rougier, PhD
Professor, Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, University of Louisville
Early mammals from South America: Integral members of a global history of mammals, or the result of local isolation?

October 22, 2014
Carl N. Keiser
Graduate Student, University of Pittsburgh
Seminar: Group composition in social spiders: Consequences for collective behavior and survival

September 10, 2014
Jan Janecka, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Duquesne University
Seminar: Snow Leopards of Central Asia: Conservation & Research in Partnership with Local Communities

May 14, 2014
Sebastian Kvist, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
Seminar: A Modern Look on Leeches: Diversity, Phylogeny, and Anticoagulants

April 16, 2014
Pauline Coster, PhD
Vertebrate Paleontology Postdoctoral Fellow
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: The African Fossil Record and the Early Evolutionary History of Anthropoid Primates 

March 19, 2014
Timothy D. Smith, PhD
Associate Professor, School of Physical Therapy, Slippery Rock University
Seminar: The Language of Anatomical Reduction: Evolution of the Nose and Vomeronasal Organ in Primates
http://srufaculty.sru.edu/timothy.smith/tds-web-pages/smith2-05.htm 

February 12, 2014
Dan Ksepka, PhD
Research Assistant Professor, North Carolina University
Seminar: Penguin Evolution in Deep Time: Insights from the Fossil Record

January 15, 2014
Michelle Spaulding, PhD
Rea Postdoctoral Fellow, Mammals and Vertebrate Paleontology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: Resolving Long Standing Phylogenetic Puzzles with Modern CT Technology: What is a Creodont Anyway?

December 11, 2013
Anusha Ramdarshan, PhD
Vertebrate Paleontology Postdoctoral Fellow, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: Puzzles in Paleobiology: Reconstructing the Diet of Early Primates and their Relatives

November 13, 2013
Evan Twomey, PhD candidate
East Carolina University
Seminar: Species Diversity and Evolution of Amazonian Poison Frogs

October 9, 2013
David K. Brezinski, PhD
Adjunct Associate Curator, Paleontology,  Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Senior Scientist-Goelogist Lead, Maryland Geological Survey
Seminar: The Late Devonian Mass Extinctions in the Appalachian Basin: New Evidence for Protracted Climate Shift

September 30, 2013
Miguel Vences, PhD
Professor for Zoology and Evolutionary Biology, Technical University of Brauschweig, Germany
Seminar: Biogeographic Origins and Patterns of Diversification in the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar

September 4, 2013
James W. Fetzner Jr., PhD
Assistant Curator of Crustacea, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: Crayfishin' Adventures: From the Field to the Laboratory

May 15, 2013
Matt Lamanna, PhD
Assistant Curator of Paleontology, Center for World Cultures, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: The Origin of Modern Birds: New Evidence from the Cretaceous of China and Antarctica

April 3, 2013
Sandi Olsen, PhD 
Former Director, Center for Wold Cultures, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: The Application of Advanced Imaging to Arabian Rock Art

March 6, 2013
John Wible, PhD
Curator of Mammals, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: A Mesozoic Mammal Lived in South America 16 Million Years Ago: the Mystery of the Grave Robber Mammal Solved

February 6, 2013
Tim Pearce, PhD
Curator of Mollusks, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: Will Pennsylvania land snails decline when climate warming forces their ranges upward?

January 16, 2013
James B. Richardson III, PhD
Curator Emeritus of Anthropology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: Trans-Pacific Colonization of the New World

December 12, 2012
Alex Hastings, PhD
Visiting Instructor, Department of Geology and Geography, Georgia Southern University
Seminar: Reptilian Predators of the Ancient New World Tropics: Bizarre Crocodiles and a Titanic Snake

November 14, 2012
Brady Porter, PhD
Associate Professor, Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences, Duquesne University
Seminar: Studies on darters of southwestern Pennsylvania

October 3, 2012
Chris Beard, PhD
Former Director, Center for Evolutionary Studies & Mary R. Dawson Chair of Vertebrate Paleontology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: Into Africa: New constraints on the anthropoid colonization of Africa

May 9, 2012
Steve Brusatte, PhD
American Museum of Natural History and Columbia University, New York, NY
Seminar: Origin and Evolution of Dinosaurs: An exemplary evolutionary radiation

April 4, 2012
Megan Paustian, PhD
Mollusks Collection Manager, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: It's a slug's life: The ecology of terrestrial slugs

March 7, 2012
John Wible, PhD
Curator and Head of Mammals, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: Mesozoic Eutherians and Origins of Cenozoic and Modern Placental Mammals

February 16, 2012
Peter Ward, PhD
Professor, Departments of Biology and Geological Sciences, University of Washington at Seattle
Seminar: Mass Extinctions and Their Effect on Evolution

December 14, 2011
Alexander V. Benitez, PhD
Assistant Professor of Anthropology, George Mason University
Seminar: Reanalysis, Reintegration and Rediscovery: Transforming Old Collections and Transcending the Legacy of Archaeology

November 9, 2011
Michelle Spaulding, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow, Sections of Mammals and Vertebrate Paleontology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: Phylogeny and Evolution of Locomotor Modes in Carnivoramorpha (Mammalia)

October 5, 2011
John Wenzel, PhD
Director, Powdermill Nature Reserve, the environmental research center of Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: Self-organizing systems governing labor and specialized task groups in colonies of ants, bees, and wasps

September 7, 2011
Amy C. Henrici
Collection Manager, Section of Vertebrate Paleontology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: An unusual terrestrial vertebrate assemblage from the Lower Permian of Germany

June 1, 2011
Patrick M. O’Connor, PhD
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ohio University
Seminar: From Zimbabwe to Egypt: New insights into the Cretaceous terrestrial biotas of Africa

May 11, 2011
John E. Rawlins, PhD
Curator & Head of Section of Invertebrate Zoology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: Entomological Research and Discovery in a Biodiversity Hotspot: Understanding Threatened Montane Endemism in Hispaniola

April 20, 2011
Natalia Rybczynski, PhD
Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, The Canadian Museum of Nature
Seminar: Arctic mammals and climate change before the Ice Age

March 2, 2011
Chen Young, PhD
Associate Curator of Invertebrate Zoology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: All About Crane Flies

February 2, 2011
Cynthia Morton, PhD
Associate Curator of Botany, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: Your city trees: We need them to breathe

December 1, 2010
Andrew Vitz, PhD
Former Bird Banding Coordinator, Powdermill Nature Reserve, the environmental research center of Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: An examination of population trends of North American songbirds using long-term bird banding data

November 3, 2010
Andrew Mack, PhD
Former William and Ingrid Rea Conservation Biologist & Senior Scientist at Powdermill Nature Reserve, the environmental research center of Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: Phylogeography of a lowland bird, Colluricincla megarhyncha, and the geologic history of New Guinea

September 1, 2010
Dave Watters, PhD
Curator Emeritus of Anthropology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: Volcanically induced loss of archaeological sites, Montserrat, West Indies

June 2, 2010
Michael Habib, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biology, Chatham University
Seminar: Launch Mechanics of Giant Pterosaurs

May 5, 2010
James E. Hayden, PhD
Former Rea Post-doctoral Fellow, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: Morphological and ecological diversity of pyraloid Lepidoptera, the 'middle kingdom' of moths

March 3, 2010
Zhe-Xi Luo, PhD
Former Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: Evolutionary development of mammalian ears, and origins of mammals