6th Annual Symposium


On Sunday, February 25th, The Metropolitan Society of Natural Historians hosted its 6th Annual Symposium in conjunction with the Science Research Mentoring Program (SRMP) of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in the Linder Theater of the AMNH. The symposium included eight 10-minute talks by scientists from prestigious institutions across across the tri-state area including the American Museum of Natural History, New York Botanical Garden, Rutgers University, City University of New York, New York University and Columbia University. More than 120 people attended the event including 50 high school students from SRMP. Presentations focused on ongoing research in a variety of subjects including symbiotic relationships between parasites and hosts, hop diversity in the American southwest, dragonfly evolution in Neartic, volcanic lava flow in Indonesia, dolphin communication in New York sound, bird behavior and diversification, harvestmen diversity in the Amazon and dinosaurs in Wyoming.


A big thank you to Dr. Mark Weckel, Assistant Director of Youth Initiatives and his SRMP team for co-hosting the event with us! Funding for conference participation of students in the Science Research Mentoring Program of the American Museum of Natural History is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

To view more photos from this event, visit our gallery. All photo credit goes to Harald Parzer. 

A complete list of presenters, talk titles and additional readings/resources recommended by presenters can be found below. To view the full program from this event with talk summaries and bios of presenters, visit here.


Genomic differentiation in Northern Cardinals of the North American warm deserts is maintained by behavioral isolation
Kaiya Provost, Ph.D. Candidate, Richard Gilder Graduate School, American Museum of Natural History

Additional Resources:
Dr. Brian Smith's Lab Website


A brief look at the diversity and distribution of harvestmen in the Central Amazon, Brazil
Dr. Pio Colmenares, Museum Specialist, American Museum of Natural History

Additional Resources:
Amazonian Harvestmen
Harvestmen Classification


Aquatic urbanites and where to find them: Examining the presence of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Western New York Bight
Kristi Collom, Masters Student, Hunter College and American Museum of Natural History

Additional Resources:
Dr. Diana Reiss' Lab Website
Northeast Chapter for the Society for Marine Mammalogy led by K. Collom. To join please contact: smmnortheastchapter@gmail.com.
American Princess Cruises for Whale, Seal and Dolphin  


The real Dragon(fly)s of the past and present
Manpreet Kohli, Ph.D. Candidate, Rutgers University



Opening old boxes to ask new questions: "The Howe Quarry Project," reassessment of a dinosaur graveyard
Dr. Emanuel Tschopp, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, American Museum of Natural History

Additional Resources:
Sauriermuseum Aathal
'Brontosaurus' name resurrected by new dino family tree
New species of dinosaur increases the already unexpected diversity of 'whiplash dinosaurs'