Little Atoms Road Trip 28 – The American Museum of Natural History

Posted on November 27, 2012 by


This show was recorded behind the scenes at the American Museum of Natural History at Central Park West in New York. There are three interviews with curators working at the museum.

Ross MacPhee is a curator of Vertebrate Zoology in the Department of Mammalogy at the American Museum of Natural History. Known for his paleomammalogical research on island extinctions, he has focused his most recent work on how extinctions occur, particularly those in which humans are thought to have been implicated during the past 100,000 years. In 1998, in collaboration with colleagues from the Russian Academy of Scientists, Dr. MacPhee collected the remains of woolly mammoths on Wrangel Island in the Chukchi Sea to determine how this last-surviving mammoth population was wiped out. Recently, Dr. MacPhee worked with geneticists and molecular biologists to develop the new tool of “ancient DNA” as a means for studying the population structure and ultimate collapse of Pleistocene mammals. He was a member of the scientific team that published a major new study of the genome of the woolly mammoth in Science in early 2006. He has been involved in several television documentaries on mammoths and their world, including “What Killed the Megabeasts?” for Channel 4.

Peter Whiteley is a curator of North American Ethnology in the Department of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History. Dr. Whiteley studies the cultures, social structures, social histories, and environmental relations in Native North America from the 17th century to the present. His research focuses on a number of areas, including Hopi society, culture, and polity in northern Arizona, based on ethnographic fieldwork and archival research over the last two decades, and Eastern and Western Pueblo intercultural relations and sociopolitical transformations during and after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.

John Flynn is Dean of the Richard Gilder Graduate School and Frick Curator of Fossil Mammals in the Department of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History. Author of more than 125 scientific publications, Flynn’s research focuses on the phylogeny and evolution of mammals and Mesozoic vertebrates, geological dating, plate tectonics, and biogeography. Dr. Flynn has led more than 50 paleontological expeditions to Chile, Perú, Colombia, Madagascar, Angola, India, and the Rocky Mountains. In 2001 John Flynn received a Guggenheim Fellowship for a year of research, writing and expeditions in South America and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2009.

Posted in: Road Trip