Curator of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology
Echinoid systematics and evolution

When I was about 8 years old, I sat at the kitchen table and used a blue ballpoint pen to draw the "blueprints" for the research vessel I would be using when I became a marine biologist. Things don't always go the way you plan--even when you start early. But I can say that my life as a field biologist and phylogeneticist of marine organisms has never wavered from the exciting endeavor represented by those childhood sketches.

Nathalie Nagalingum, PhD
Associate Curator and McAllister Chair of Botany

Nathalie Nagalingum studies the evolution and diversification of plants, particularly ferns and cycads, and also oversees the Academy’s botany collection. Nagalingum is one of just a handful of researchers worldwide who studies cycads, a palm-like plant that comprises the most endangered group of organisms on Earth. In addition to her research, Nagalingum is passionate about museum science and the opportunity to use her research findings to inform broader conservation projects.

Sue Pemberton
Curatorial Assistant I
Hudson Pinheiro
Ph.D. Student, Ichthyology Researcher
Biodiversity, ecology and evolution of mesophotic reef fishes

The study of mesophotic reef fish communities is among my major research interests. I am exploring biodiversity and evolutionary processes of reef fishes in isolated seamounts and oceanic islands of the Atlantic Ocean. The discovery of endemic species and the assessment of their distribution and genetic patterns have contributed to a better understanding about the origin of species and biodiversity in these isolated environments.

Collection Manager, Invertebrate Zoology
Marine Invertebrate Collections; Polychaete Systematics

Chrissy Piotrowski is responsible for the care and maintenance of a vast, taxonomically diverse invertebrate research collection (excluding entomology specimens).  She oversees all collections-related activities and documentation: acquisitions, curation, taxonomic determinations, loan and exhibit of specimens, research visits, inquiries, and maintenance of an online searchable database of digital specimen records.

Wojciech Pulawski
Curator of Entomology, Emeritus

My specialty is the systematics and evolution of solitary wasps family Sphecidae since 1955. In addition to minor papers, I have published essential monographs of Palearctic Tachytes (1962), Palearctic Tachysphex (1971), Palearctic Ammatomus (1973), Neotropical Tachysphex (1974), Australian Tachysphex (1977), Old World Parapiagetia (1977), World Prosopigastra (1979), North American Tachysphex (1988), World Kohliella (1991), World Holotachysphex (1992), World Gastrosericus (1995), African Tachysphex (2007), a book of 698 pages, world Palarini (2008, coauthored with Michael A.

Dr. Heritiana Ranarivelo
Research Associate, Botany
Systematics, Biogeography, Taxonomy, Malagasy flora

My research interests focus on the taxonomy, systematics and biogeography of the Malagasy flora. I am conducting ongoing research on the St. John’s wort family, Hypericaceae, and the princess flower family, Melastomataceae, and am also investigating the relationships between Malagasy species and closely related groups from mainland Africa and the New World.

Research Scientist

Giovanni Rapacciuolo is a biodiversity data scientist and macroecologist. His work at the macroecology–conservation practice interface takes advantage of emerging approaches for analyzing and visualizing big datasets to improve our predictive understanding of large-scale biodiversity change and support conservation decisions. 

Galen Rathbun
Fellow and Research Associate
Zoologist

My research has focused on the behavioral ecology of vertebrates, conservation, and mammalian taxonomy. At the Academy, African small mammal ecology and taxonomy has been my research focus, especially sengis or elephant-shrews. To read more about my active research, please visit www.rathbunX2.com.  My early career focused on the conservation of Florida manatees, California sea otters, and several aquatic vertebrates, including California red-legged frogs and Pacific pond turtles.

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