How to conduct a quick survey of a large, systematically arranged, invertebrate paleontology collection at the Field Museum to learn how many specimens in the collection are from the Michigan Basin. Read more about How (and how not) to survey a systematic invertebrate paleontology collection for locality data
Blogs & Videos
Every day at The Field Museum we're exploring something new, whether it's hidden deep in our collections or being investigated out in the field. Tune in to our blogs and videos to learn about breakthrough discoveries firsthand from our Field Museum scientists, discover curiosities in our vaults with Emily Graslie, or see how our science is making an impact in the world around you.
Check out what our Chief Curiosity Correspondent, Emily Graslie, has explored on The Brain Scoop!
Explore the treasures of The Field Museum's collections with The Field Revealed video series.
Recent Blog Posts
A major research focus of my laboratory is the locomotor biology of fishes that generate forward propulsion by oscillating and undulating the fins. We ask the questions: How are fishes designed to swim efficiently and with such high maneuverability? How are the muscle-tendon-bone systems that provide thrust coordinated by neuromotor control? How has locomotion evolved in complex 3-dimensional coral reef environments? Techniques used in locomotor biomechanics include kinematics, electromyography, sonomicrometery, and modeling of the biomechanics and hydrodynamics of locomotion. Read more about Biomechanics and Evolution of Fish Locomotion
Fish feeding biology is a well-established model system for the study of biomechanics, physiology, and comparative diversity. In this lab, we are developing biomechanical models of complex feeding movements in coral reef fishes to test new hypotheses for the mechanism of jaw opening and upper jaw protrusion in fishes. Models include four mechanisms of feeding mechanics in seven labrid fish species (Westneat 1990; 1994), the highlight of which is the spectacular jaw mechanism of the sling-jaw wrasse (Westneat 1991). In addition to proposing novel feeding mechanisms, this research allowed an evolutionary analysis of biomechanics in fishes (Westneat, 1995). Read more about Biomechanics and Evolution of Fish Feeding
A major challenge in biology is the resolution of phylogenetic relationships among diverse clades of fishes inhabiting coral reefs around the world. Collections are obtained through an active field program of visiting coral reefs in the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia, and Pacific Islands, as well as the Caribbean, collecting fishes using SCUBA diving, nets and working with fishermen. Phylogenetic systematics is the generation of molecular and morphological data from those collections, followed by large-scale data analysis to yield phylogenetic trees, which represent our best estimate of the family tree of relationships among fish species. Generating phylogenetic trees is one of the most useful and exciting areas in biology today. Read more about Phylogenetic Systematics of Coral Reef Fishes
Turning Science into Action
Science drives all our programs. But conservation takes more than biodiversity science. Our inventories gather the best scientific information and provide it fast to decision-makers. But we don’t stop there. We go on to work with governments and other collaborators to take the practical steps necessary to make conservation happen. Read more about Inventories