Emily Sandall Joins the Frost

My name is Emily Sandall, and I recently started working as a museum collections assistant at the Frost Entomological Museum. I will be posting regularly here about the different things I encounter, including a variety of interesting specimens, curation processes, and other related events.

Image of Emily Sandall wearing a wide brimmed sun hat.

A young scientist with her trusty sun hat, who’s traveled from the rooftops of Chicago to the valleys of the State College. Photo by Emily Sandall (CC BY 2.0).

I’m from the Midwest-central Illinois to be exact, and I attended Loyola University Chicago, receiving my B.S. in Biology last winter. My undergraduate research focused on mycorrhizal fungi and soil interactions on urban green roofs, particularly in the change of the green roof soil community over time. The combination of sustainability and science has always been an interest of mine, and I am now pondering which academic step to take next, namely what to study in graduate school-evolution, bioinformatics,plant science, etc.? With every experience in biology that I have, it gets easier to identify my strengths. I am hoping that my experiences in entomology will help me narrow down my strongest interests.

A photo of a metal cabinet full of slide boxes containing a variety of specimens, namely lice.

The slide boxes of specimens I have digitized so far; it looks like quite a few until you consider the whole collection! Photo by Emily Sandall (CC BY 2.0).

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working on digitizing and imaging the Anoplura, Mallophaga, mites, and other ectoparasite microscope slides that dwell in the Frost’s collection. This is a tall order considering the magnitude of this collection. The range in age and origin of the specimens on microscope slides is pretty amazing, from the late 1890s to the 1990s, from Pakistan to Centre County. Often, the only information the microscope slides divulge about the specimens is their origins-typically the species themselves are not yet identified.

Microscope slide of giant Eastern rabbit flea with labels of'Odontopsyllus multispinosus (Baker)' and 'Ex. Sylvilagus floridanus', Rockview Pen., Centre Co. PA

Microscope slide of Odontopsyllus multispinosus (giant Eastern rabbit flea) that was collected in 1976 in Centre County, PA. Photo by Emily Sandall (CC BY 2.0).

I look forward to sharing some of the most interesting finds, and bringing back the ‘Friday Night Lice’ series in which I will share some images of the specimens themselves as well as introducing the ‘Curation Conversation’ series, in which I discuss some of the steps and processes of working with this museum’s collection. Stay tuned for the exciting things going on at the Frost!

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One Response to Emily Sandall Joins the Frost

  1. Enrique González Soriano says:

    Dear Emily. Nice to meet you. Many years ago I went to Penn State and took the oportunity to revise part of the Odonatological collection there. At that tiem Dr. John Grehan was the Director of the Frost Entomological Museum. My intereset was to revise part of the material of the Beattyies, specially those from the state of San Luis Potosi, México. At that time I was asked on the possibility of curate at least part of the Beatties coll (by the way I am a researcher of the Instituto de Biologia, UNAM, México).. I am reading about your project: Digitization of the Beatty Odonata Collection at the Frost Entomological Museum (PSUC): the Terrain of Ecological Niche Modeling and I am wonder if the Beatties base data is now available for the public in general. If so, I will be very interesting in accesing the base data and obtain all the Mexican records included in that collection. Thanks a lot for you time.

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