William T. and Lola Benton White Graduate Fellowship

The Hugh and Dolores Benton Memorial Endowment along with the Benton Shell Colection was established in 1988 to honor Hugh and Delores Benton, add a valuable collection to the University of Arizona, and to provide a curatorial fellowship to support the collection.

This endowment provides curatorial fellowship to continue the curation of the Benton Shell Collection and for curation of collections.  The collections are part of the University of Arizona Museum of Natural History. 


Erin Morrison (2013-2014) 

Ornithology Collection and Phylogenetics visualization program 

I spent my semester on the fellowship working with the ornithology collection.  I surveyed all of the taxa in the collection and updated their nomenclature and taxonomic relationships to current classifications.  While involved with this, I relabeled the collection and developed an organizational system for finding specific specimens.  In collaboration with Dr. Michael Sanderson, I also helped test a new software program for viewing high resolution images of taxa from natural history collections on phylogenetic trees using images of bird specimens from Mexico found in the collection. 

Badyaev Lab Website: http://www.u.arizona.edu/~abadyaev/index.html


Tao "Scotty" Chi (2012-2013)

Benton and Collection database


Matt Neilson (2011-2012)

Benton and Fish Collection reorganization

While on this fellowship, I reorganized the UA Icthyology collection to correspond to contemporary taxonomy and take advantage of new space provided by a Collection Improvement grant (Peter would have the specific name of the grant). Prior to my work, the collection had not been reorganized in nearly 40 years, and our understanding of fish systematics had changed a lot in that time (Peter would know the time better, but I'm pretty confident that's right). The collection had also run out of space for growth. Between myself and an undergraduate assistant (Bryan Keller), we moved over 12,000 jars of fish, resorting them into newly labeled shelves according to current order and family designations and taking advantage of the new shelves so the collection has room to grow again.

Papaj Lab website: http://eebweb.arizona.edu/faculty/papaj/mnielsen.htm


Barbara Dobrin (2010-2011)