Published on December 1st, 2015 | by Laura Soul0
Episode 56: Vertebrate preparators
Preparators are specialist staff working in museums and universities worldwide. They perform a very wide variety of tasks from fieldwork excavations, to specimen conservation. Any fossil has to be prepared for use, whether its to expose specific parts so that they can be studied, or to preserve and reconstruct a specimen so that it can be displayed in a museum gallery. Vertebrate preparation is an increasingly professionalised field that plays a huge part in the process of modern palaeontology.
In this episode we speak to Michelle Pinsdorf, a museum specialist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History about how she became a preparator, what the job involves, how fossils get from the field to display, and about preparators’ roles in the overhaul of the NMNH deep-time exhibit.
For more information on preparation at the Smithsonian go here.