The Painting

The other day, on a whim, we went to a thrift shop and something happened that you fantasize about but never expect. We found a masterpiece. The painting was sitting in a corner behind a lot of faded prints from the 1980s, with “$12.99”. scrawled on the back. We thought it was probably a clever … More The Painting

The Chicken that Plays Puccini: A Question of Animal Awareness

The other day, while looking for something to watch on YouTube, I was offered up in the side-bar a series of videos of a chicken playing the piano. Intrigued, I clicked on the link and was treated to two minutes and one second of a chicken at an electric piano playing “O mio babbino caro” … More The Chicken that Plays Puccini: A Question of Animal Awareness

Newly Launched – “Love Nature: The Biophilia Podcast”

Last Wednesday, I teamed up with my colleague Dr. Dan Dombrowski, Chief Veterinarian at North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences to launch Love Nature: The Biophilia Podcast. The launch itself was part of of BugFest, the Museum’s largest event of the year, attracting 30,000 people or more every September. This time, it was wholly virtual, … More Newly Launched – “Love Nature: The Biophilia Podcast”

Coronavirus, Regenerative Agriculture and Renewable Energy

I’ve written recently about our pressing need to think globally about wet markets and the bushmeat trade. Aside from their devastating impact on wildlife, these practices are superhighways for diseases to enter the human population, with catastrophic effects to health and the global economy. While we’re currently experiencing this with Covid-19, it’s also been the … More Coronavirus, Regenerative Agriculture and Renewable Energy

Pandemics: Our Complex Relationship with Animals

Just a couple of weeks after the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, which was meant to engage the world in “a billion acts of green,”  saw us focusing instead on a global Coronavirus pandemic catalyzed, it would seem, by eating wild animals (most likely bats) from so-called “wet markets” in Wuhan (if you follow the … More Pandemics: Our Complex Relationship with Animals

Tanning a Kangaroo, the Old Fashioned Way

Like a lot of people, the global pandemic has made me think about our relationship to nature. What might life look under the combined effects of climate destabilization, disease, and other environmental stressors (wrapped up nicely in the concept of planetary boundaries)? Could we expect, in the wake of a global population vastly reduced by … More Tanning a Kangaroo, the Old Fashioned Way

Dioramas, Red-Footed Boobies and Changing Times in Coastal Belize

This is my final blog post related to Carnegie Museum of Natural History, finishing up with a topic that has interested me for the last four-and-a-half years. Natural history habitat dioramas can provide passage to another place, and another time. In 1932 the artisans at Carnegie Museum of Natural History created this habitat diorama “Red … More Dioramas, Red-Footed Boobies and Changing Times in Coastal Belize

From Pittsburgh to Raleigh: A New Chapter

Early in 2020, I will have the enormous privilege to be taking on the role of Director of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. It’s located in Raleigh, is the oldest established museum in North Carolina and the largest museum of its kind in the Southeastern United States. It’s also Raleigh’s largest tourist attraction, … More From Pittsburgh to Raleigh: A New Chapter