Speaker: Luis Ceríaco, Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

In 1930, the newspaper mogul Ralph Pulitzer funded an expedition to Angola, southwestern Africa, for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Aimed at getting specimens of the iconic Giant Sable, the expedition was comprised of naturalists who assembled impressive zoological, paleontological and ethnographic collections. These collections are still extant in CMNH and are scientifically relevant to the present day. They served as the basis of the description of new species and are unparalleled testimonies of the Angolan landscape a century ago. While reviewing part of the collections assembled in this expedition, I started to pull a thread that eventually led me to (re)discover a treasure trove of documentation and specimens. In the last 10 years I’ve been doing research in Angola and collecting in the exact same areas covered by the Pulitzer Expedition. This allows us to compare the landscape evolution, the loss of biodiversity and the logistics of an early twentieth century expedition with those of today. This story intertwines history and biodiversity and reinforces the value and scientific importance of CMNH collections. Using the CMNH collections as a time-machine, we will travel back and forth in time and discuss history, science and conservation in one of Africa’s most biodiverse countries.

This event will take place Monday, December 11, 2023 at Noon in person at Earth Theater.

Date & Time

December 11, 2023
12:00pm - 1:00pm


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