Dissemination of Results

For the general public, access to the Invertebrate Paleontology collection is via specimens on exhibit and the Divisional website which allows visitors to read about our micropaleontology collection and search the database for information and images of specimens. We are enhancing the Invertebrate Paleontology section of the Divisional website, providing images and information on the rehousing and conservation aspects of this project. Student interns and volunteers started a blog about their experiences working in the collections. The blog allowed students to share their experiences and impressions of the collection with their peers and the public (http://ipmicrofossils.blogspot.com/).

These enhanced web pages and blog give an insight into the behind-the-scenes activities of the Division, and will help recruit future interns who are interested in foraminiferal research, climatic change or museum studies.

The web site exposes the public to the significance and importance of the collections. Specimens and images may also be featured in future museum exhibitions. The past exhibition Picturing Science highlighted SEM and CT scan images of invertebrate fossil specimens housed at the museum. This and future similar exhibits will afford new ways for the public to view invertebrate fossil specimens.

Producing CT scans of type specimens and making these images available online will be of major importance to the micropaleontological community, assisting in training the next generation of taxonomists, making a considerable contribution towards solving taxonomic problems thus enabling the community to estimate diversity over time, and assisting geochemists in the selection of correct specimens for analysis in paleoceanographical and paleoclimate research.

Presentations on the progress and outcomes of this project have and will be given at professional meetings (e.g. Geological Society of America, Cushman Foundation Meeting at GSA, Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections; FORAMS; International Conference on Paleoceanography; AGU; EGU).

Ellen Thomas gave a presentation called Foraminifera in 3D at the GSA Annual Meeting October, 2011, in which she used our CT scanned Foraminifera specimens to demonstrate her work.

A dataset containing taxonomic, geographic and stratigraphic data from the microfossils project is now available on the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) website.

A woman standing beside her research explanation poster in a conference or exhibition hall.
Bushra Hussaini with her poster at the 2013 GSA Annual Meeting
Bushra Hussaini presented a poster titled “Establishing a digital database for Invertebrate Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History” at the GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado (27-30 October, 2013). Besides presenting an overview of the development of the invertebrate paleontology database at our museum, she talked about the rehabilitation and curation of the microfossil collection, and how the NSF award #1203394 has and will support the training of undergraduate students in modern curatorial practices. In 2014, Bushra presented a poster titled "The Conservation and Digitization of the Microfossil Collection at the American Museum of Natural History" at the GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC, Canada (19-22 October, 2014). The importance and efforts of the NSF-funded microfossil collection project are further detailed in this poster.
Shaun holding 3D-prints of microfossils while standing in front of his 2014 GSA poster.


Shaun Mahmood presented a poster titled "Microfossils in 3D: Scans, 3D-PDF, 3D-Printing" at the GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC, Canada (19-22 October, 2014). The poster detailed methods and results for imaging and presenting microfossils in informative ways. The poster included a QR code, which when scanned, brings up this video of the 3D renderings of CT scanned microfossils.
Uvigerina peregrina. Image created by Shaun Mahmood for his 2014 GSA poster.


The image to the left was submitted to The Micropalaeontological Society's 2015 calendar contest. It was a winner and is printed on the November page for the 2015 calendar. Click here to view the full-size image.
Composite image of 40 microfossils created by Shaun Mahmood for his 2014 GSA poster.


This image, created for the GSA poster, showcases the 40 microfossils that were CT scanned by Shaun and the 2014 microfossil interns.