The Annual Meeting of the Willi Hennig Society will take place May 26-31 at UC Berkeley’s Clark Kerr campus with tours of the natural history museums on campus! Hosted by the BNHM museums of UCMP, MVZ, Essig, and UC & Jepson Herbaria, this conference of Phylogenetics and Evolution has contributed talks and symposia that are aimed broadly and deeply. Visit the meeting website for details and area information. See you there!
On Wednesday, April 25th, Sara Kahanamoku-Snelling (UCMP graduate student who started the petition) gathered comments from the Change.org petition and sent a more formal letter to Chancellor Christ which you can read below.
As of this writing, Thursday morning, April 26th, there are close to 3,500 signatures on the online petition to show campus administrators the broad support and impact Berkeley Natural History Museums and field stations have had and currently have.
Please keep up the message to Chancellor Christ, Provost Alivisatos, and others that we cannot endure without their support, that dramatic budget cuts on top of the steady erosion of funding jeopardize our traditions and eliminate a critically needed and unique resource for UC Berkeley and most importantly for current and future students.
To current and former studentsof the BNHM, including the UC Botanical Gardens, UC & Jepson Herbaria, Essig Museum of Entomology, UC Museum of Paleontology, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology and the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology:
The Berkeley Natural History Museums (BNHM) and Field Stations (FS) are currently slated to receive a massive and devastating budget cut in the coming fiscal year. Current students from the BNHM and FS have drafted a petition to the leadership of the university conveying our extreme disappointment in their proposal to endanger the future of ecological, evolutionary, and environmental sciences at Berkeley. Please voice your support by adding your signature to the petition by following this link.
A new study, described as “The first “big data” analysis of California’s native plants”, was published by the University and Jepson Herbaria, and available on BMC Evolution. The authors focused on the diversity and endemism in the California flora, applying a novel “spatial phylogenetics” approach that makes it possible to evaluate biodiversity from an evolutionary standpoint, including discovering significant areas of neo- and paleo-endemism. Check out Thornhill, Baldwin, Freyman, Nosratinia, Kling, Morueta-Holme, Madsen, Ackerly, and Mishler 2017 BMC Evolution https://doi.org/10.1186/s12915-017-0435-x
UCMP Grad student Sara ElShafie is highlighted in the Berkeley News for her leadership in teaching scientists to communicate to broader audiences. Her first official workshop was entitled “Science Through Story: Strategies to Engage Any Audience,” in November 2016 at the annual meeting of the Western Society of Naturalists in Monterey, and was a success. It led to a March 2017 workshop at UC Berkeley with industry and faculty participants.