Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections April 2014 - (Page 36)

Member profile Member Profile by Ann Pinzl Our members play many different roles from collection management and conservation to databasing and informatics to research and education. Many of our members come from a traditional research background while many of our new members are coming into the field from the museum studies field. Our hope is to introduce our membership to a variety of individuals who are playing very dynamic roles in their museum's activities. We are casting our net broadly and selecting individuals from institutions of all sizes and backgrounds. Snapshot: What is your name? Bernhard Zipfel What is your position? University Curator of Fossil and Rock Collections Where do you work? When did you join SPNHC? The Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, where I have worked for 7 years. I am a new SPNHC member, having joined last year, 2013. Bernhard Zipfel with one of his charges In-depth: What drew you to the natural history field I came from the health sciences (podiatric medicine) with a research interest in the evolution of the foot. This drew me into the field of palaeoanthropology and broader palaeontology. Describe the nature of the collections you work with. I curate all fossil and associated collections (including casts, teaching material and teaching slides) at the University of the Witwatersrand. Fossil holdings cover Therapsids and dinosaurs from the Karoo, fossil plants, plio-pleistocene fauna (including one of the world's largest hominid collections) and comparative extant mammal collections. What are your responsibilities for them? Supervise, manage and administer the large technical staff to accomplish curatorial requirements of the university collections and their progress; budgetary control of departmental funds allocated to curation and maintenance of collection; accession of all new collections material into the suitable collections catalogue and ensure material is appropriately stored to be available for future research; regular examination of all collections ensuring that each item is appropriately stored, noting deterioration and attempts to address problem; review of all outstanding material loans and paperwork relating to material loans, export and temporary export permits; scholarly research in natural sciences and publication of results in peer reviewed journals; supervision of post-graduate (Masters and Doctoral) students. Describe some of your activities. Assisting visiting students and scientists with access to the various fossil collections; chairing a number of committees, including the Fossil Access Advisory for application for access; fieldwork and conducting scholarly research on collections; supervision of post-graduate students; educational outreach where appropriate; collections visits for interested groups and potential funders; lectures and seminars. What do you find most interesting about your work? Assisting scientists in obtaining access to fossils and facilitating their work in as efficient a manner as possible, and carrying out scholarly research and publishing the findings. What accomplishments are you most proud of? I recently became an NRF Rated Scientist (C2 category). This is a National Research Foundation rating in which researchers with an international standing are recognized and receive funding accordingly. The descriptions of the foot and ankle and biomechanics of 36 * SPNHC Newsletter

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections April 2014

From the President
Society Reports
Calendar 2014
What's New
Member Profile
Travel Grants
Photo Credits

Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections April 2014