Fantasic news for zoology research and education at the Cincinnati Museum Center. We just received an award from the National Science Foundation to fund the purchase of instruments for a molecular ecology and systematics laboratory in the zoology department here at the Cincinnati Museum Center! The centerpiece of this new laboratory will be an automated capillary electrophoresis machine. This piece of equipment will allow for DNA sequencing and multilocus genotyping to be done completely in house at Cincinnati Museum Center's zoology department. Numerous projects are already planned to be conducted in the new lab covering a diverse array of topics, everything from DNA barcoding of Neotropical land snails to the population genetics of owls to amphibian conservation genetics to characterizing the genetic mating system of songbirds. The new lab will have close partners in the region including the Cincinnati Zoo, Thomas More College, Cincinnati Country Day School and Xavier University and will facilitate research, future funding opportunites and educational experiences in cutting edge life sciences techniques for high school students and educators, undergraduates, graduate students, local college and university faculty and our dedicated volunteer staff.
Now I just need to think of a name for the lab! I was thinking of the CincyMolES Lab (Cincinnati Museum Center Molecular Ecology and Systematics Laboratory). We could have a Star-nosed Mole as our mascot maybe? OK, I don't study mammals but it's a neat critter and I thought the name was catchy! I'm happy to field other suggestions from my readers.