"Back to the Future: Leveraging Museum Collections in Contemporary Studies" will be the topic of a July 18 talk by Anthony Caragiulo, assistant director of Genomic Operations at the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics at the American Museum of Natural History.
The free presentation will be held at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, at 5:15 p.m. in the Coe Auditorium.
The talk will explore how collections historically have been used to study biodiversity, what species have been present in an area over time, and more.
“Advances in genetic techniques and the ability to analyze DNA from historic specimens have greatly expanded the utility of natural history collections to address even more questions about evolutionary processes,” Caragiulo said.
In his talk, Caragiulo will use examples from his own research, including his work studying the population genetics of mountain lions and the potential hybridization of New York City coyotes with domestic dogs. He also shares some of his experiences assisting those working with anthropological and art collections in identifying the biological origins of their pieces.
Caragiulo has worked at the American Museum of Natural History since 2010 when he began conducting his dissertation research on the population and conservation genetics of mountain lions in Central and South America.
Caragiulo’s main research involves using genetic and genomic techniques to study populations of a variety of species including mountain lions, jaguars, snow leopards, humpback whales, and coyotes.