Staff & Student News

Regenstein Postdoctoral Fellow Mark Golitko, in collaboration with Regenstein Curator John Terrell (both Anthropology), was awarded an NSF senior archaeology research grant of $102,300 to conduct six weeks of archaeological fieldwork and related lab work between May, 2012–April, 2013 examining environmental change, prehistoric human settlement, and obsidian trade networks at archaeological sites located along the mid-Holocene shoreline near Aitape, northern Papua New Guinea.

Research & Publications

MacArthur Curator Bruce Patterson (Zoology/Mammals) traveled to Etosha, Namibia from February 7–16 for a planning workshop convened by the African Lion Working Group, an IUCN specialist group.  The 35 participants from academia, management, and sport hunting in Africa, Europe and North America spent two days and three nights on paper presentations and discussions on lion threats, monitoring and mitigation efforts.  The three greatest threats to lion conservation are certainly (1) retaliatory killing (from lion-human conflict over cattle), (2) habitat conversion and fragmentation, and (3) prey depletion (especially through poaching).  During the conference, Bruce met several collaborators on morphology and genetics and helped to frame two projects currently in progress: redrawing Lion Conservation Units in Eastern and Southern Africa based on microsatellite genetic variation, and assessing geographic variation in cranial morphology throughout the lion's historic African and Asian range.  More details about the conference can be found here.

Fieldwork & Collections

Public Education & Media Coverage

Associate Curator Janet Voight (Zoology/Invertebrates) traveled to the University of Wisconsin at Madison on February 10, where she participated in celebrations surrounding the 203rd anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin.  The University sponsors a three-day long community-wide event entitled “Darwin Days” with teacher training, Members’ Night-type exhibits and three guest lectures.  This year, Janet was honored to be invited to give the Keynote Lecture.  The crowd exceeded the 300-person capacity of the hall (despite Janet having arrived in town with an Arctic Air Mass), but guests (demonstrating the hardiness of Midwesterners) carried in chairs from other rooms or, when those ran out, sat on the floor.  To increase public awareness of the event, Janet had participated in a live, call-in radio show on Wisconsin Public Radio, deftly fielding questions that ranged from octopus-specific to the evolution of humans and great apes to marsupials in Australia.  A recording can be found online here.  In addition, Janet was filmed for an interview, which will result in a short video to be posted on the event web page.  In her spare time, Janet led a discussion of marine biology papers in the Paleoecology seminar series in the Department of Geology with Professor Dana Geary.