Posts tagged with microscope

Getting a measure of plant taxonomy

  • Laptop with spreadsheet showing highlighted cell with "13.28" mm leaf width measurement, that has been automatically transferred from the digital calipers to the morphological data matrix. Photo © Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
  • Laptop screen with highlighted spreadsheet cell showing "13.28" mm leaf width measurement has been transferred to the morphological data matrix. © Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
  • Here you can see the whole set up, including Heidi measuring the specimen with the digital calipers, that are in turn connected to the laptop for instant data transfer. Photo © Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
  • Laptop screen with highlighted cell of spreadsheet showing "13.28" mm leaf width measurement now in the morphological data matrix. Photo © Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

As a plant taxonomist, most of my work involves determining how many species are in a particular genus of flowering plants, how they are related to one another, and what the correct scientific names for those species are. To do this, I gather and analyze data from a number of sources, including genetics, chromosomes, ecology,… Read more »

Ask the feathers

Left: 'amakua hulu manu Kūka'ilimoku (feathered image), 1700s, maker unknown; feathers, animal teeth, pearl shell and plant fibres; gift of Lord St Oswald, 1912. Right: Close-up showing black Hawai'i mamo feathers used for the eyebrow

In early March, Te Papa Tongarewa was asked by an overseas museum if they could borrow ‘amakua hulu manu Kūka’ilimoku (feathered image) for an exhibition. As part of the process to allow or decline a loan, all the materials that make up an object need to be identified. We were unsure of the exact species… Read more »