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.
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.
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.
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!