Hyena expert to speak as part of lecture series

13 years ago Comments Off on Hyena expert to speak as part of lecture series

The Sam Houston State University Vertebrate Museum will host the second biennial Edward O. Wiley lecture series this evening. The featured speaker is Dr. Kay E. Holekamp who is the world’s leading authority on reproductive ecology of hyenas. Holekamp will speak at 7:30 p.m. in the Olsen Auditorium in Academic Building 4.

Dr. William I. Lutterschmidt, the head curator of the SHSU Vertebrate Museum and the creator of the Edward O. Wiley lecture series, said the lecture series was created to honor a world-renowned biologist. “The lecture series takes place every other year in honor of Edward O. Wiley a world renowned fish biologist who is now the head curator of fishes at the Natural History Museum and a professor at the University of Kansas,” said Lutterschmidt.

Wiley has published many books including “Phylogenetics” which is an analysis of the evolution history of fish, said Lutterschmidt.

Wiley has a special connection to the SHSU family. “Dr. Wiley got his masters in biology at SHSU under the direction of Dr. Darrell Hall who taught at SHSU for many years,” said Lutterschmidt.

Wiley gave the first lecture two years ago when the lecture series was established. Holekamp will be the second speaker in the lecture series presenting “Natural History and Reproductive Strategy of Hyenas.” Holekamp is a professor of behavioral ecology and endocrinolgy at Michigan State University and has studied in Africa. “She is one of the, if not, the authority on the biology of hyenas,” said Lutterschmidt.

The lecture is open to the public. Though the lectures are focused on science the presentation is designed for the public. “It is presented to a general audience so everyone can take advantage of it,” said Lutterschmidt.

The Sam Houston State University Vertebrate Museum holds a collection of vertebrate including fish, amphibian and reptile, birds and mammals used by advanced undergraduate and graduate students. The collection was created through research from east Texas and around the state of Texas. The museum records include information about the history of the research collections. The museum is housed in the Lee Drain Building.

The museum includes several curators. Dr. Jerald L. Cook is the curator of fishes, Dr. William I. Lutterschmidt is the head curator and curator of amphibians and reptiles, Dr. Diane L. Neudorf is the curator of Birds and the Bird Sound Library and Dr. Monte L. Thies is the curator of mammals.

Lutterschmidt said the next lecture series will take place in 2006. Although it is in two years, “planning begins about a year to six months ahead,” said Lutterschmidt. The lecture series is designed to feature someone who works on vertebrate biology and is well renowned in his or her field.