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Shaena Montanari, 27
Postdoctoral research associate, Columbia University-American Museum of Natural History
At 24, Montanari earned her Ph.D. in Comparative Biology at the Richard Gilder Graduate School; she chemically analyzed the fossils of extinct animals, including dinosaur eggshells that showed what the Gobi desert was like 80 million years ago. Now she's focusing in using DNA barcoding to understand the diets of tigers and other mammals being overrun by humans to make sure they still have prey to eat.
|New York Times Article: The Critter People By TAMAR LEWIN. Beyond the noisy throngs marveling at the dinosaurs, the dioramas and the immense blue whale, up on the fifth floor where visitors are not allowed, the American Museum of Natural History takes on an entirely different character. Video: "Every Day at the Museum"|
|On Monday, September 30, 2013, the Museum conferred seven Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Comparative Biology to the first candidates to complete the program, which is the first Ph.D.-granting program for a museum in the Western Hemisphere. Read about the 2013 Richard Gilder Graduate School Graduates and watch a video of the full Commencement ceremony.|