The Florida Museum research building hosts a rotating exhibit highlighting recent student research guided by a Florida Museum mentor. Posters are on display at Dickinson Hall for one semester and then permanently archived on this website.

Contact information for current Museum graduate students is available on the Graduate Student Directory, through links to the University of Florida departments, or via the Florida Museum mentors.

Click any poster to download the PDF.

Spring 2010

Catch Trends of Blue Sharks Caught by Brazilian Pelagic Longline Fleet in the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean: 1978-2007, by Felipe Carvalho, Debra Murie, Fabio Hazin, Humberto Hazin, and George Burgess

Author: Felipe Carvalho,, M.Sc. candidate, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

Florida Museum Research Mentors: Burgess, George H. – Director, Florida Program for Shark Research, Rob Robins – Collection Manager, Ichthyology



Abundance and Size-Frequency Distribution of Juvenile Horseshoe Crabs, Limulus polyphemus, by Lindsay Keegan and H. Jane Brockman

Author: Lindsay Keegan,, Senior, Zoology

Florida Museum Research Mentor: William Keegan – Curator, Caribbean Archaeology


18th-Century Creek Attire: Searching Museum Collections, by Kim Meinholz and Charlotte Porter

Author: Kim C. Meinholz,, Senior, History

Florida Museum Research Mentor: Dr. Charlotte Porter – Curator, History of Science

In 1774, the naturalist William Bartram explored the Alachua Savanna, present-day Paynes Prairie in Alachua Co., FL. Traveling with traders, Bartram was greeted by the local residents, Creek Indians friendly to the British cause. Many of Bartram’s illustrations and records attest to his encounters, but few 18th-century Creek artifacts are extant. Using Bartram’s illustration of the Mico Long Warrior as a guide, I am searching museum collections online to locate artifacts similar to those noted by the arrows. My goal is to provide a third dimension to a two-dimensional historical narrative of the Creeks at the time of the American Revolution. The focus is two-fold: (1) to find artifacts indicated by arrows in Bartram’s drawing and (2) to determine Creek names for these objects, some of them European trade items. Because the museum community, at present, does not use standard nomenclature for Creek artifacts, online search for them has been difficult. I have been successful in locating some artifacts through the National Museum of the American Indian, the Muscgo Nation and the Sam Noble Museum at Oklahoma University. I am grateful for support from the University of Florida History Department and earlier research efforts by Shawna Pies of the UF Museum Studies Program.


Maternal Influences on Embryonic Condition and the Occurrence of Runts in Viviparous Sharks

Authors: Andrew Piercy, , Ph.D., Fall 2009, Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Christina Walker

Florida Museum Research Mentor: Dr. Franklin F. Snelson Jr., Ichthyology

Pregnant sandbar (N=26) and Atlantic sharpnose (N=20) sharks were collected from the northwestern Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. No significant relationship between litter size and maternal length was detected for either species. Equal numbers of embryos were noted in the right and left uterus of pregnant sandbar sharks. Pregnant Atlantic sharpnose sharks had significantly more embryos in the left than the right uterus. Embryonic lengths and weights were recorded and relative condition values were calculated. Runts were observed in 85% of sandbar and 45% of Atlantic sharpnose shark litters examined. Variation in embryonic relative condition was noted and potential causes were examined. Mean relative condition values of sandbar shark embryos increased over the duration of the gestation period. No relationship between litter size and mean or range of embryonic relative condition values were detected for either species. Mean embryonic relative condition values did not vary significantly with maternal length for either species. No relationship between maternal length and the range of embryonic relative condition values was detected for Atlantic sharpnose sharks. An inverse significant relationship between maternal length and the range of embryonic relative condition values was noted for the sandbar shark. This constriction of the range of relative condition values suggests that larger pregnant sandbar sharks may be better able to provide consistent nourishment for all embryos. Embryos with greater relative condition values may exhibit lower natural mortality.

Fall 2010

Rehabilitation of Archaeobotanical Collections from Pineland: A Major Coastal Archaeological Site Complex in Southwest Florida.

Author: Melissa Ayvaz,, M.A. candidate, Anthropology, UFB

Florida Museum Research Mentors: Bill Marquardt, Donna Ruhl, Karen Walker

The Pineland archaeobotanical collections relate to a series of excavation projects that took place at southwest Florida’s Pineland Site Complex from 1988 to 1995, that focused on its A.D. 50-1710 cultural and environmental histories. The collections consist of dry, wet (waterlogged), and conserved plant specimens. Following many years of extensive research, this component of the Pineland collection was returned to the Florida Museum with the goal of comprehensive curation. A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded to the Florida Museum is supporting the curation of Pineland collections including the often overlooked plant materials. To this end, a major focus is on the long-term care and condition-reporting necessary for the plant materials, especially the specimens of waterlogged seeds and wood as well as the conserved wood chips and cordage. Project methods and results follow national standards and are illustrated with multiple images. In addition, a monitored programmatic plan for the preservation of waterlogged specimens has been developed and is highlighted here. Ultimately, this project will greatly improve the long-term stability and accessibility of these rich and rare archaeobotanical collections from Pineland.


Rehabilitation of the Florida Museum of Natural History’s Pineland Collections: A National Endowment for the Humanities Project to Curate Collections from a Major Coastal Archaeological Site Complex in Southwest Florida.

Authors: Melissa Ayvaz,, M.A. candidate, Anthropology, UF, Marquardt (Chair), Walker, Ruhl
Austin Bell,, M.A. Museum Studies, Marquardt, Walker, LeCompte
Gypsy Price,, Ph.D. Anthropology, Marquardt, Walker, Krigbaum (Chair)
Ryan VanDyke,, M.A. Anthropology, Marquardt, Walker, deFrance (Chair)

Florida Museum Research Mentors: Bill Marquardt, Karen Walker, Donna Ruhl, Elise LeCompte, Karen Walker

The Pineland collections result from a series of public-oriented excavation projects that took place at southwest Florida’s Pineland Site Complex from 1988 to 1995. Those projects focused on the A.D. 50 to 1710 cultural and environmental histories of the complex. It was not until 2005 that all components again existed under the same roof. A three-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded in 2007 to the Florida Museum of Natural History supported comprehensive curation of the collections.