The University of Florida’s Florida Museum of Natural History celebrated 100 years of inspiring people to care about life on Earth in 2017. To mark the closing of an era and the beginning of a new century, UF News profiled three Florida Museum women who are shaping the research institution’s future and breaking the cycle of stereotypes and misconceptions in the world of science. With modern tools like social media and podcasts, they continue the work of past and current museum women, who have fought for equality in their fields and for the visibility of women in science.
In this Becoming Visible video series and site, we meet Fossil Hunter Michelle Barboza, above, a Los Angeles native and graduate student who ‘accidentally’ became a scientist because of her love for the outdoors. Her podcast Femmes of STEM celebrates women who are scientists in the past with women who are scientists in the present.
Graduate student and museum collections technician Adania Flemming, above, studies life in water-based ecosystems. As the only woman in her lab, she’s making herself as visible as she can through social media and museum events so that other aspiring scientists of color can “see that scientists come in all genders and skin tones.” She also wants to bring hands-on training in marine biology, ichthyology, and island ecology to schools in Trinidad and Tobago from where she hales.
Verity Mathis is the mammals collection manager for the museum, a job in which she loves to share how and why museum collections are so important: “Without records showing when and where species occur and how they can vary across their range or between sexes, scientists can’t say anything about their evolution, their distribution or their interactions with other species…”
Next, watch more videos about women working in STEM fields, including Dr. Mae Jemison, Dr. Sylvia Earle, research fellow Jane Lucas, biologist Sally Warring, volcanologist Carolyn Parcheta, and many, many more.
Plus: 33 Million Things and Six Ways To Prepare a Coelacanth, two Shelf Life episodes from AMNH, and Sir David Attenborough explains why museum collections are so important.