Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and a shutdown of most on-site operations in the Biodiversity Research Collections (BRC) since March 2020, the Vertebrate Division of the BRC is happy to say that we still were able to have a fantastic graduate student complete some essential work with our fluid-preserved ornithological collection!
Working with Dr. Erin Kuprewicz, our vertebrate collections manager, Grace Vaziri (EEB Ph.D. student, Knutie lab) used her attention to detail and avian expertise to sort, catalog, and label the little-known bird specimens that we currently keep in our spirit collection. Her work involved the assessment of all specimens kept in jars of ethanol, careful notation of specimen data in our catalog, and methodical labeling of all individuals (by tying small archival paper labels to bird legs)—she ultimately catalogued and labeled over 200 birds! Before Grace’s work in the BRC, this sub-collection of our larger bird collection was virtually unknown. With her essential contributions, we can now use these “wet birds” for exciting new research projects and teaching.