Katelin Clifton Interns with VMNH Mammal Department
Katelin Clifton, who is majoring in Biology at Hollins University, has been working with me as an intern for most of January. She helped me inventory and organize specimens that are ready for cataloging into the VMNH collections. She also helped me and VMNH Research Technician Ray Vodden prepare specimens from the Virginia Barrier Islands that were collected through my collaborative studies with VMNH Research Associate Ray Dueser.
Also this month, with Katelin’s assistance, I started examining specimens housed in the VMNH collections as part of my research on fluorescence in eastern fox squirrels. VMNH Curator of Paleontology Alton (Butch) Dooley and I have published a technical article about this work and Butch has also written about it on his blog. Over the past few weeks, Katelin and I spent several days documenting fluorescent properties of about 75 specimens.
That leaves several hundred more for me to examine in-house (VMNH houses one of the largest collections of eastern fox squirrels in the world). I plan to add my observations about the VMNH specimens to the data I collected at MPM (which I wrote about in an earlier blog post) and data I’m able to gather for specimens in other museums.