Collection Manager, Mammals
Suzanne McLaren is the collection manager for the Section of Mammals at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. She served as co-coordinator for the museum’s 2009 American Alliance of Museums accreditation. She also served as chair of collections for Carnegie Museum of Natural History from 2012-2018. McLaren received her MS in biology from Shippensburg University in 1978 and began working in the section in September of 1977.
McLaren’s research focuses on the ecology and systematics of mammals of the eastern United States, especially Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and the systematics and taxonomy of Sciurus granatensis. She is an active member of the Mammal Technical Committee of the Pennsylvania Biological Survey.
McLaren is also committed to advancing techniques in the care and preservation of natural history collections, as well as in the ethics and data sharing for computerized collections. She served as treasurer of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) from 1988–1993 and as president of from 2000–2002. In 1993, she received the first SPNHC President’s Award in recognition of distinguished service in the development and continued success of the society. McLaren has also represented SPNHC on the White House Millennium Council and the first Heritage Health Index Task Force.
In 2001, she received the Hartley H. T. Jackson Award in recognition of outstanding service to the American Society of Mammalogists, becoming only the third woman so recognized since the Jackson Award’s inception in 1978.
McLaren stepped into the role of president of the American Society of Mammalogists (ASM) in June of 2008. McLaren is only the third female president and the first non-PhD president in over 50 years. As ASM president-elect, McLaren served a two-year term from 2006–2008, and transitioned into the position of ASM president, leader of the world’s oldest and largest scientific organization devoted to mammals. Prior to the presidency, McLaren had served for two terms on the ASM board before being elected recording secretary in 2001. As past-president, McLaren is a life member of the ASM board of directors and continues active service on several ASM committees.
In 2011, McLaren received the Jesse S. Heiges Distinguished Alumna Award from Shippensburg University.
McLaren and her husband Andrew were also elected co-citizens of the year for Brighton Heights Citizens’ Federation in 2003, receiving a commendation from Pennsylvania State Representative Don Walko. Since 2001, McLaren has been judge of elections in the 27th Ward of Pittsburgh, an elected office in Allegheny County.
1976 McLaren, S. B., Effects of Commercial Fertilizer on Vegetation of Open-pit Mine Waste Disposal Sites in Essex County, New York, Proc. Pennsylvania Acad. Sci., 50:71-74.
1979 McLaren, S. B. and G. L. Kirkland, Jr., Geographic Variation in Litter Size of Small Mammals in the Central Appalachian Region. Proc. Pennsylvania Acad. Sci., 53(2):123-126.
1980 McLaren, S. B., The Woodchuck. . .or Groundhog. Carnegie Magazine LIV(2): 21-25.
1981 Schlitter, D. A. and S. B. McLaren. An additional record of Myonycteris relicta Bergmans, 1980, from Tanzania (Mammalia: Chiroptera). Annals Carnegie Mus., 50(16): 385-389.
1984 McLaren, S. B., D. A. Schlitter, and H. H. Genoways. Catalog of the Recent Scandentia and Primates in The Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Annals Carnegie Mus., 53(16): 463-525.
1984 McLaren, S. B., Application of Automatic Data Processing in Recent mammal collections. Sci. Software Quarterly, 1(2): 7-13. (submitted by invitation).
1984 McLaren, S. B. Raccoon Dog. Pp. 9, in Natural History of the Dog (H. H. Genoways and M. A. Burgwin, eds.), The Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, 64 pp.
1984 McLaren, S. B. Dingo. Pp. 43, in Natural History of the Dog (H. H. Genoways and M. A. Burgwin, eds.), The Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, 64 pp.
1985 Williams, S. L., S. B. McLaren, and M. A. Burgwin. Paleo-archaeological and historical records of selected Pennsylvania mammals. Annals Carnegie Mus., 54(4): 77-188.
1985 McLaren, S. B. Literature in Review: Science Software Quarterly. Collection Forum, 1:3-5.
1985 McLaren, S. B. (Chairman) Survey report on computerized information retrieval in mammal collections. Committee on Information Retrieval, American Society of Mammalogists, 29 pp.
1986 McLaren, S. B., D. A. Schlitter, and H. H. Genoways. Catalog of the Recent marine mammals in The Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Annals of Carnegie Mus., 55(11): 237-296.
1986 McLaren, S. B., H. H. Genoways, and D. A. Schlitter. Uses of the computer in collection management. Pp. 75-80. in Proceedings of the 1985 Workshop on the Care and Maintenance of Natural History Collections. (J. Waddington and D. M. Rudkin, eds.)., Life Sciences Miscellaneous Publications, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, v +121.
1987 McLaren, S. B., H. H. Genoways, and D. A. Schlitter. The Computer as a Collection Management Tool. Pp. 97-100, in Mammal collection management (H. H. Genoways, C. Jones and O. L. Rossolimo, eds.), Texas Tech University Press, Lubbock, iv + 219 pp.
1988 McLaren, S. B. Application of Documentation Standards and Automatic Data
Processing in Recent Mammal Collections, pp. 573-600. In Management of Mammal Collections in Tropical Environments, (B. K. Tikader, Editor), Calcutta, India, xii + 654.
1988 McLaren, S. B. Chairman, Committee on Information Retrieval. Guidelines for usage of computer-based collection data. Journal of Mammalogy, 69(1): 217-218.
1988 McLaren, S. B. Copyright law and museum databases. SPNHC Newsletter, 2(1): 3-4.
1988 McLaren, S. B. Is copyrighting your database the solution? SPNHC Newsletter, 2(2): 4.
1988 McLaren, S. B. Book review of “A guide to museum computing by David W. Williams. Collection Forum, 4(2): 77-78.
1989 McLaren, S. B. (Chairman) Survey report on computerized information retrieval in mammal collections.
Committee on Information Retrieval, American Society of Mammalogists, 33 pp.
1990 Williams, S. L. and S. B. McLaren. Modification of storage design to mitigate insect problems. Collection Forum, 6(1)27-32.
1991 Cato, P. S. (Chair, Committee for Evaluating Collection Management Positions) Summary of a study to evaluate collection manager-type positions. Collection Forum, 7(2):72-94.* Publication produced by a committee of which McLaren was a member.
1992 McLaren, S. B. Collection management and control perspectives on database accessibility. ASC Newsletter, 20(6): (submitted by invitation).
1993 McLaren, S. B. On Database Accessibility. Pp. 51-54 in: ASC Guidelines for Institutional Database Policies(E. C. Hathway and K. E. Hoagland, eds.). Association of Systematics Collections, Washington, D. C.
1993 McLaren, S. B. and J. K. Braun (eds.). GIS applications in mammalogy, Special Publication of the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, Norman, Oklahoma, 41 pp.
1994 McLaren, S. B. Review of Preserving Natural Science Collections: Chronicle of Our Environmental Heritage. Edited by W. D. Duckworth, H. H. Genoways, and C. L. Rose. Collection Forum, 10(2):46-48.
1996 McLaren, S. B. (Chair), P. V. August, L. N. Carraway, P. S. Cato, W. L. Gannon, M. A. Lawrence, N. A. Slade, P. D. Sudman, R. W. Thornington, Jr., S. L. Williams, and S. M. Woodward. Documentation Standards for Automatic Data Processing in Mammalogy, Version 2. American Society of Mammalogists, Lawrence, KS. 66 pp..
1998 Haifley, J. L., E. Johnston, S. B. McLaren, K. Saito, W. G. Thompkins, K. L. Vehrs. 1998. Ethical and legal issues: Fish and Wildlife. (W.G. Thompkins, chapter ed.), pp. 321-339, in The New Museum Registration Methods, (R. A. Buck and J. A. Gilmore, eds.). American Association of Museums, Washington, D. C., xvii + 427.
1999 McLaren, S. B. Obituary, Gordon Laidlaw Kirkland, Jr.: 1943 – 1999. Journal of Mammalogy, 80(4): 1365-1374.
2003 Cato, P.S., J. Golden, S. B. McLaren (eds.), MuseumWise: Workplace Words Defined. Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, Washington, D.C., 380 pp.
2003 Genoways HH, McLaren SB. Results of the Alcoa Foundation-Suriname Expeditions. XIII. Annotated gazetteer of mammal collecting sites in Suriname Annals of Carnegie Museum. 72: 223-239.
2016 McLaren, S. B., and J. R. Wible. 2016. Pennsylvania bats preserved as museum specimens: a storehouse of information. Pages 63–74 in C. M. Butchkoski, D. M. Reeder, G. G. Turner, and H. P. Whidden, editors. Conservation and ecology of Pennsylvania’s bats. Pennsylvania Academy of Science, East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, USA.
In preparation: McLaren, S. B. and Schlitter, D. A. Mammals of West Virginia.
Sympathy for the DevilBats and devils are among the most popular topics associated with Hallowe’en. Of course, the research collection in the Section of Mammals …
Risk Assessment, or how to keep your collection intactBy Gretchen Anderson, Conservator, and Suzanne B. McLaren, Chair of Collections What are the risks to a museum’s collection? Figure 1: The risks of …
Ask a ScientistAsk a Scientist: Can you tell us the story of Harvey the big rabbit? Our museum has a huge rabbit stored in …
The Woodchuck…or Groundhog?By: Suzanne McLaren Woodchuck, groundhog, whistle pig- these picturesque and sometimes misleading names describe one of the state’s most common and familiar …
Ask a Scientist: What is one of the more unique…Ask a Scientist: What is one of the more unique mammals of western Pennsylvania? Collections Manager Suzanne McClaren weighs in on what …
Scientists Live: Suzanne McLaren – SquirrelsOn the most recent Scientists Live, Mammals Collection Manager Suzanne McLaren discussed the squirrels of Pennsylvania. Sue did a 20-minute broadcast on …