Old Specimens, New Scientist: A Student’s Account of Sequencing Historic Herptile Type Specimens

The Covid-19 shutdown and restrictions halted any opportunities to learn about and contribute to on-going research at the University of Oslo (UiO). Because I’m (Pia M. Eriksen; Figure 1) considering a master’s degree in biological sciences, I have been planning and looking for ways to engage in biological […]

An initial foray into scientific research: Meet the new undergraduate research student at FEZ

Joining the FEZ group as part of the University of Oslo’s (UiO) Summer Research Program, Pia M. Eriksen is a Bachelor of Biosciences student taking part in an on-going museomics (museum collection genetic studies) project. Working alongside project leader, Rita M. Austin, Pia will contribute to the exploration […]

New Paper Exploring the Surprising Evolutionary History of Our Oral Bacteria*

Living in and on our bodies are trillions of microbial cells belonging to thousands of bacterial species – our microbiome. These microbes play key roles in human health, but little is known about their evolution. Here we investigated the evolutionary history of the hominid oral microbiome by analyzing […]

Sampling Modern Marine Invertebrates for Museum Research – A New Experience

While museum collections contain historic materials that provide insight into various evolutionary and social aspects of the past, museums are dynamic, not only for the types of collections they contain, but also for their diverse research foci. For the Natural History Museum of Oslo and the Frontiers in […]

Type Specimen Genetics?

Until relatively recently, museum collections have been amassed and utilized to investigate the morphological variation seen within and across species to understand evolutionary change. With the advent of next generation sequencing (NGS) and improved molecular methodologies, natural history collections have become ideal sources of curated (documented) materials to […]

New Paper Exposing The Challenges and Limitations Inherent to Ancient Dietary Reconstructions Using Dental Calculus Metagenomic Data

New research highlights and tests the limitations of dental calculus (i.e., calcified dental plaque), a microbiome substrate regularly used to reconstruct ancient foodways. Under the direction of Allison E. Mann from Clemson University, a collaborative team analyzed both synthetic and ancient dental calculus datasets to demonstrate the intrinsic […]

The Most Typical of All: Museum Type specimens

Natural history collections contain a plethora of objects, organisms, and information, representing real-world diversity, variation, and relationships. Collections allow scientists to understand and classify the natural world. Within biology, scientists classify and categorize animal species using taxonomy, a classification system based on the identification, description, and naming of […]