Abrahamson ecn2013 evaluating_naturalhistorycollectionuse
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  • Digital revolution, scientists and taxonomy
  • In what ways are NHCs used to further scientific knowledge?Can their use be measured?Are there patterns to how NHCs are used?Has NHC use changed over time?An exploratory study
  • Research program, kinds of work
  • Topics in publications that reference NHCs likely change over timeRe word
  • University collections house local species and prioritize the preservation of threatened and protected speciesReword
  • Arthropods and Herbarium: many undiscovered species vs. threatened/endangered species in other divisions
  • Titles existed for each, but not always journal or keyword
  • (H1: loaned specimens collected in NM is significantly different than expected)
  • Pubs a good metricfor University policy-makers

Abrahamson ecn2013 evaluating_naturalhistorycollectionuse Abrahamson ecn2013 evaluating_naturalhistorycollectionuse Presentation Transcript

  • EVALUATING NATURAL HISTORY COLLECTIONS USE IN ONE UNIVERSITY MUSEUM Bethany Abrahamson Museum of Southwestern Biology University of New Mexico Advisors: Kelly Miller, Tim Lowrey, Joe Cook
  • OUTLINE  Analyzing use of natural history collections (NHCs) through time Challenges of analysis  Metrics  Methods and Results  Discussion  Conclusions  What we can learn  The next step 
  • A NEW WAY OF LOOKING AT NATURAL HISTORY COLLECTIONS  Collections are important, people want to know Funding groups and administrators  Other scientists  The public   The digital revolution   Current ways of informing about NHC importance   “Museums are for taxonomy”  Diversification of use Reviews, editorials A new method: Analysis
  • ANALYSIS Quantifying NHC impact on science  Patterns  Change over time  An exploratory study  Figure Courtesy of MSB Arthropods
  • WHY STUDY COLLECTIONS FROM THE MUSEUM’S PERSPECTIVE? Explore measures of NHC impact  Make collections (and collections records) more useful to researchers and analysts  Figure courtesy of MSB Arthropods
  • CASE STUDY: MUSEUM OF SOUTHWESTERN BIOLOGY University of New Mexico  4,500,000++ specimens  “Regional”, major holdings from American Southwest, Central/South America, and worldwide  Grown in size and scope of collections since early 1990s   Six of ten divisions:       Arthropods! Birds Fishes Herbarium Mammals Reptiles and Amphibians
  • CHALLENGES OF NHC ANALYSIS: COMPARING ARTHROPODS TO VERTEBRATES AND BEYOND…. Different collections research applications  Different collection management methods  Different curator priorities  However, collections do have metrics that are common across divisions… Figure courtesy of MSB Arthropods
  • PUBLICATIONS Journal articles, books, gray literature (reports, etc.)  What fields of study specimens are impacting 
  • LOANS Temporary or long-term loans, transfers of tissues  What species are used, where they were collected 
  • EXPECTED TRENDS  Publications  New, innovative studies increase, traditional uses decrease?    Systematics? Collection-specific Loans Loans of local specimens predominate  MSB growth = increased loans of non-NM specimens over time 
  • PUBLICATIONS  1,387 publications over time (1940-May 2013)  From collection managers, journal databases Titles, journal titles, and article keywords searched  Search phrases  Keyword Groups (Keywords)  Some publications received more than one keyword  Simplified N-gram/content analysis  Figure Courtesy of Tom Giermakowski
  • KEYWORDS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Biogeography Conservation Disease Ecology Evolution Genetics Life History Morphology Systematics Variation Search phrases “speciation” “evol” “adapt” “Female reproductive tract form drives the evolution of complex sperm morphology.”
  • LOANS 1,784 loan records over time (1968-May 2013)  54,509+ specimens loaned  Locations (state/province) recorded  Figure Courtesy of Tom Giermakowski
  • Year 2011 2008 2005 2002 1999 1996 1993 1990 1987 1984 1981 1978 1975 1972 1969 1966 1963 1960 1957 1954 1951 1947 1944 1940 Number of Publications PUBLICATIONS Publication Titles Produced Each Year 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0
  • WHICH KEYWORDS CHANGE IN FREQUENCY OVER TIME? Evolution (Spearman Signed-Rank, ns)  Morphology (ns)   Decreasing  Life History (P<0.001) 0.12 Proportion Keyword Arthropods  Increasing Arthropods Proportion of Keywords v. Decade 0.1 0.08 0.06 Evolution Life History Morphology 0.04 0.02 0 Decade
  • WHICH KEYWORDS CHANGE IN FREQUENCY OVER TIME? Birds  Increasing Evolution (ns)  Genetics (ns) Birds Proportion of Keywords v. Decade 0.3  Decreasing   Disease (ns) Variation (ns) Proportion Keyword  0.25 0.2 Disease Evolution Genetics Variation 0.15 0.1 0.05 0 1980-1989 1990-1999 2000-2009 2010-2013 Decade
  • WHICH KEYWORDS CHANGE IN FREQUENCY OVER TIME? Fishes Proportion of Keywords v. Decade Fishes  Increasing Conservation (P<0.05)  Genetics (ns) 0.7  Decreasing  Ecology (P<0.05) Proportion Keyword  0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 Conservation Ecology Genetics 0.2 0.1 0 Decade
  • WHICH KEYWORDS CHANGE IN FREQUENCY OVER TIME? Herbarium Proportion of Keywords v. Decade Herbarium  Increasing Ecology (ns)  Morphology (ns) 0.14  Proportion Keyword 0.12 0.1 0.08 Ecology Morphology 0.06 0.04 0.02 0 2000-2009 2010-2013 Decade
  • WHICH KEYWORDS CHANGE IN FREQUENCY OVER TIME? Mammals Proportion of Keywords v. Decade Mammals  Increasing  Decreasing  Life History (P<0.05) 0.3 Proportion Keyword Genetics (P<0.05)  Systematics (P<0.05)  0.35 0.25 0.2 Life History 0.15 Genetics Systematics 0.1 0.05 0 Decade
  • WHICH KEYWORDS CHANGE IN FREQUENCY OVER TIME?   Evolution (P<0.05) Decreasing  Morphology (P<0.05) Reptiles and Amphibians Proportion of Keywords v. Decade 0.12 Proportion Keyword Reptiles and Amphibians  Increasing 0.1 0.08 0.06 Evolution Morphology 0.04 0.02 0 Decade
  • HOW DOES THE ARTHROPODS DIVISION COMPARE TO OTHERS OVERALL? Proportion Keyword: Systematics Proportion of Keyword “Systematics” vs. Decade 1.2 1 Arthropods 0.8 Birds 0.6 Fishes 0.4 Herbarium 0.2 Mammals 0 Reptiles and Amphibians Decade
  • DO CURATORS AFFECT THEIR PARTICULAR AREAS OF RESEARCH? Proportion of Keyword Before/After Curator Hire 0.6 Proportion 0.5 0.4 0.3 Before After 0.2 0.1 0 Systematics Arthropods Evolution Birds Evolution Fishes Biogeography Conservation Mammals Rept. and Amph. Research Interests
  • DO THE PROPORTION OF LOANS OF SPECIMENS FROM NM CHANGE OVER TIME? Most of the top species loaned were species that can be found in NM.  The proportion of loans of NM specimens have decreased over time. Proportion Loans with NM specimens, Total Museum Proportion  1 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 Proportion NM 0.3 0.2 0.1 R² = 0.657 0 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 Year
  • ARE SPECIMENS FROM NM BEING LOANED MORE THAN OTHERS? Proportion of Specimens Collected in NM 0.9 0.8 0.7 Proportion 0.6 0.5 Specimens in Collection 0.4 0.3 Specimens Loaned 0.2 0.1 0 Arthropods Birds Fishes Herbarium Division Mammals Reptiles and Amphibians
  • CONCLUSIONS: PUBLICATIONS Growth of papers over time  Arthropods: Evolution, Morphology (not Life History)  Much yet to be discovered  Arthropods leads Systematics  Curator    Age, size of collection are likely other factors Trends toward new uses; away from traditional uses (except systematics!)
  • CONCLUSIONS: LOANS Top species found in NM  Overall decrease in NM loans (Arthropods: even less)  Large regional collections are not only good as repositories for local specimens but also for specimens collected elsewhere   Curator influence Figure courtesy of kellymillerlab.com
  • WHAT CAN WE LEARN?  Publications Good metric for NHC relation to science  Compiling publications lists: difficult, but important  Keyword phrases pros and cons   Loans Patchy, unwieldy format  A kind of publication   What can arthropods collections do?  Digitization   Tracking Publications  Search engines, Changing journal policies
  • THERE IS MUCH (AND MORE) TO LEARN FROM COLLECTIONS ANALYSIS  Step 1: What I plan to do       Parametric tests Effect of cultural trends More datasets Across museums, museum types, science overall Social science content analyses Step 2: What we can take away Fill a gap in knowledge for future researchers  Use in other museums 
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  Advisors   Collection managers   K. Miller, T. Lowrey, J. Cook D. Lightfoot, S. Brantley, A. Johnson, P. Tonne, A. Snyder, J. Dunnam, and T. Giermakowski, D. McDonald Assistance   R. Mallis, N. Gilkey, M. Howland-Davis, S. Brantley, Y. Wei Several anonymous reviewers This project will be completed May 2014 for a Master of Science degree in Biology.
  • QUESTIONS?