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Social distancing during Covid challenged us all to look for fun new ways to share science. Not many people get to visit museums behind the scenes, but technology allowed visitors to Zoom in and spend time with scientists in their collections.

Chandra Earl created #collectionsbattle, an informal competition between different museums to show off their specimens and talk about how museum collections work as a library of life. She was once a student here at the University of Florida and the Florida Museum, and now works at the Bishop Museum in Hawaii. Collections always fascinated her, and she wanted to invite people in to share her enthusiasm.

Our collection manager John Slapcinsky is always excited to talk about our invertebrate zoology collection and about his passion – snails. He was happy to represent the Florida Museum twice on this series of Zooms.

BPBM vs FLMNH

This episode featured malacologists trying to outdo each other in their collections. Our John Slapcinsky went head-to-head with Norine Yeung, curator at Bishop Museum in Honolulu, HI. They were given themes and sent into their collections to find specimens to prove which collection is better.

Meanwhile, Chandra Earl and Zoe Fang talked other cool animals, biodiversity data, and history facts.

Recorded live in Oct. 2020

Florida Museum vs Museum of Comparative Zoology

This time our collection manager John Slapcinsky battled Alana Rivera, curatorial assistant of the malacology collection at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University. Chandra gave them themes and sent them back into their collection and find cool, beautiful or fascinating specimens to prove which collection was better.

While they look in their collections, Chandra talks about science and history topics related to the specimen theme the scientists are searching for.

Recorded live in May, 2021

Watch more of these battles hosted by Chandra Earl: Battles Playlist on YouTube