Whale Research at the Smithsonian Past, Present and Future

Whale Research at the Smithsonian
Past, Present and Future

A symposium associated with the exhibition Whales: From Bone to Book* 

Thursday June 6, 2013
10:30 am – 5:00 pm

National Museum of Natural History
Baird Auditorium

FREE and OPEN to the public!

*RSVP to SILRSVP@si.edu or 202.633.1699*

The Smithsonian has studied whales since the 1850s, building collections that are unmatched in the world and yielding insights into these enigmatic species. Listen to four distinguished speakers: Prof. R. Ewan Fordyce, Prof. D. Graham Burnett, Dr. Stephen Godfrey, and Dr. Nicholas D. Pyenson discuss the origins of this legacy, its scientific value, and its future.


10:00 AM                  Museum doors open; registration begins

10:30 AM                  Welcome – Dr. Nicholas D. Pyenson, Curator of Fossil Marine Mammals,
                                Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC

10:45 – 11:45 AM       Prof. R. Ewan Fordyce, University of Otago, New Zealand
                                “Unraveling the history of whales and dolphins - the most unlikely mammals”

11:45 – 1:15 PM         Lunch on your own

1:30 -   2:30 PM         Prof. D. Graham Burnett, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
                                "To be honest, soft anatomy never struck a responsive chord in my makeup:
                                 Remington Kellogg among the Whales"

2:30 -   3:00 PM          Dr. Stephen Godfrey, Calvert Marine Museum, Solomons, MD
                                 "Fossils from Calvert Cliffs: Over 100 Years of Paleontological Discovery"

3:00 -   3:30 PM          Break              

3:30 -   4:00 PM          Dr. Nicholas Pyenson (with demos by Ms. Holly Little)
                                 "Cetaceans in silico: 3D digitizing fossil whales in the field and in the museum"

4:00 -   5:00 PM          Q&A with speakers (moderated by Pyenson) + wrap-up

*The Whales: From Bone to Book exhibition will be open to the public starting May 25, 2013. The exhibition will be located on the ground floor Evans Gallery of the National Museum of Natural History.