museums and biodiversity

Thomas G. Lammers lammers at FMPPR.FMNH.ORG
Fri Nov 14 16:18:04 CST 1997

At 04:25 PM 11-14-97 EST, Robin Panza wrote:
>>1.)  maintenance of type collections and publishing current type catalogues
>>2.)  maintenance of VOUCHER SPECIMENS for ecological studies, faunal
>>surveys, physiology experiments, etc. This is especially important at a time
>>when "biologists" are not being trained on how to identify their study
>>animals and plants.
>3.  temporal series of species from an area, e.g., what _was_ there?
>4.  identification of material in lieu of vouchers, and maintenance of
>comparative material for identification

5. Specimens provide raw data not even dreamed of when the specimen was
stashed away, e.g., extraction of chloroplast DNA from 50+ yr old herbarium
specimens; this very day, there is a plant anatomist culling leaves in our
herbarium for anatomical study;  I once examined skins of birds via SEM for
adhering pollen grains; etc.

Thomas G. Lammers

Classification, Nomenclature, Phylogeny and Biogeography
of the Campanulaceae, s. lat.

Department of Botany
Field Museum of Natural History
Roosevelt Road at Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60605-2496 USA

e-mail:     lammers at
voice mail: 312-922-9410 ext. 317
fax:                312-427-2530

"The most important thing to learn is how to teach yourself.
 Everything else ... is just detail."
Patrick Gibson

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