Innovative Cuba-US Collaborations

Over the past year, CBC Director Dr. Ana Luz Porzecanski led negotiations that resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding between the Museum and the Cuban National Museum of Natural History (MNHN) and Environmental Agency in Havana, signed on July 9, 2016. The agreement follows more than a century of scientific collaboration between the Museum and Cuban researchers, including biologists from the MNHN, and paves the way for deeper collaborations on research, exhibitions, and education among Museum-based scientists and educators, and Cuban colleagues. 

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Cuba's extinct giant owl, Ornimegalonyx, shown here under construction to be featured in the !Cuba! exhibition. © AMNH/R. Mickens


As the first initiative under the agreement, the American Museum of Natural History is getting ready to present a bilingual exhibition, ¡Cuba!, about the Caribbean island nation. Curated by Dr. Porzecanski and Dr. Chris Raxworthy, curator-in-charge in the Department of Herpetology, ¡Cuba! will explore the extraordinary biodiversity across the island’s remote forests, deep caves, expansive wetlands, and dazzling reefs through immersive exhibits that have been developed with colleagues at MNHN. In addition, the exhibition will highlight Cuba’s culture, its people, and its history. 

Dr. Porzecanski, Dr. George Amato from the Sackler Center for Comparative Genomics and CBC Advisory Council member, and Cuban colleagues have also developed a new project for research exchanges with Cuban colleagues to facilitate the study of specimens collected last year in Humboldt National Park.