Public Engagement

Public Engagement and Bats

Public Engagement and the Mammal Collection

Ken & Linda McGurn Speaker Series

Louse Collectors and Collaborators

Public Engagement and Bats

Bats are perhaps one of the most misunderstood of all mammals because of their nocturnal and secretive lifestyle. They often are the subject of myths that impair their reputation. To help dispel their bad reputation, we often engage the public in field trips to sample and inventory their local bat fauna. This provides a unique opportunity for local kids and adults to learn the benefits and importance of bats in their own backyard.

University of Florida Bat House & Bat Barn

View to the the world's largest occupied bat houses

The most common species living here is the Brazilian free-tailed bat, Tadarida brasiliensis. The Southeastern bat, Myotis austroriparius, and Evening bat, Nycticeius humeralis, also live in the structures.

Public Engagement and the Mammal Collection

Museum specimens are frequently used to give presentations on a range of subjects including biodiversity, conservation, and form and function. These presentations have been given at public libraries, schools, the Lubee Foundation, and Powell Hall by graduate students in the Reed Lab and by Candace McCaffery, collection manager of the Mammal Collection. The Mammal Collection also provides specimens to be used in educational displays in the lobby of Dickinson Hall. By using museum specimens to give public presentations, we can raise awareness and appreciation of global biodiversity and promote a shared concern for conservation between the general public and researchers.

--Click on thumbnails for larger view--

Ken & Linda McGurn Speaker Series

Dr. Bruce MacFadden and Dr. David Reed organized a seminar series entitled "Public engagement in science" where our guest speakers were not only top-notch scientists, but they also involved the public directly in some aspect of their research. Half of the speakers were external to The University of Florida. The seminar series was held immediately following the Museum-wide staff meetings to encourage scientists and non-scientists to attend. In addition, the talks were publicized and the general public was invited. The speakers were asked to prepare their talks for a very broad audience. Below is a list of the speakers who presented.

Youth partnering in paleontology: Museums as centers for citizen science
Feb. 6, 2012
Dr. Robert Ross | Associate Director for Outreach at the Paleontological Research Institution housed within the Museum of the Earth

Titanoboa: The Science Behind the Story
March 13, 2012
Dr. Jonathan Bloch | Associate Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, Florida Museum

Mapping the distribution of genetic variation across North American monarch butterfly populations
April 4, 2012
Carol Chaffee | Ph.D. candidate, UF's Dept. of Biology

How to Identify Ducks in Flight: harnessing the power of birdwatchers to study bird populations
May 14, 2012
Dr. Steven Kelling | Director of Information Science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Fossil Horses: Icons of Evolution
Sept. 10, 2012
Dr. Bruce MacFadden | Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, Florida Museum

Reconstructing a Spanish Mission: San Luis de Talimali
Oct. 8, 2012
Dr. Bonnie McEwan | Director of Research at the Mission San Luis

Impacts of Drought and the BP Oil Spill on Salt Marsh Foodwebs and Function
Nov. 5, 2012
Dr. Brian Silliman | UF's Dept. of Biology

Louse Collectors and Collaborators

Dr. Ariel C. Toloza and Dr. Maria I. Picollo, Centro de Investigaciones de Plagas e Insecticidas (CONICET-CITEDEF)
Villa Martelli, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Dr. Douglas D. Colwell, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada/Agriculture et Agroalimentaire Canada
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

Professeur Didier Raoult, Unité des Rickettsies
Faculté de Médecine, Aix-Marseille University
Marseille, France

Dr. Frédéric Delsuc, Laboratoire de Paléontologie, Phylogénie et Paléobiologie
Université Montpellier II
Montpellier, France

Dr. Jean-Pierre Hugot, Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle
Paris, France

Dr. Kazunori Yoshizawa, Hokkaido University
Sapporo, Japan

Dr. Angélica González-Oliver, Facultad de Ciencias
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
México D.F., México

Dr. Serpil Degerli, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine
Cumhuriyet University
Sivas, Turkey

Dr. Nigel Hill (deceased), London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
London, UK

Abby Irwin, Lice Solutions Resource Network, Inc.
Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Carol Gilbert, Fairy Lice Mothers
Oceanside, New York, USA

Judit Ungvari-Martin, University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida, USA

Kathie Shepherd, Founder & CEO of The Shepherd Institute for Lice Solutions, Lice Solutions Resource Network, Inc.
West Palm Beach, Florida, USA

Martina Mitchell, Lice Patrol
San Francisco, California, USA

Nancy Gordon, Lice Knowing You
Mercer Island, Washington, USA

Penny Warner, The Texas Lice Squad RN, LLC
Missouri City, Texas, USA

The Netherlands
Dr. Marieta A. H. Braks, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment
Bilthoven, The Netherlands