Slithering Smithsonian Fellow Experience
Sean Harrington has recently completed a 10-week fellowship with the National Museum of Natural History. Read on to hear Sean’s account of his time with The Smithsonian!
“During my 10-week graduate fellowship at the NNMH, I collected data from viper specimens present in the herpetology collections. I took external measurements as well as digital x-rays of skulls. I was able to gather data from at least one specimen from every species of viper present in the NMNH collections, which includes over 150 species. These data will be used for one chapter of my dissertation that focuses on rates of morphological evolution, particularly skull shape evolution, among vipers. The data collected during my fellowship comprise a majority of the data that I will need to collect for this project, and contribute greatly to my overall progress towards completing my dissertation.
Everybody at the museum was extremely helpful, especially my adviser during my stay, Dr. Kevin de Queiroz, and I was able to easily access the specimens and facilities that I needed to gather my data. I was able to meet a variety of people with different areas of expertise, and had many informative conversations that will strengthen my research. Overall, I had an excellent experience, and I got even more out of the fellowship than I had initially hoped, and I would love an opportunity to return to the NMNH in the future.” -Sean Harrington
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