The Fish collection has undergone a dramatic growth spurt, more than doubling in size, through the gift of a collection of fishes held by Dr. Tom Simon. Our colleague served as an expert in fish and crayfish biodiversity for Indiana and taught courses on larval fish biology at OSU’s Stone Lab. The transfer of specimens was planned with Tom upon his retirement, but happened more quickly because of his sad, sudden passing.
The relocation of the collection was spearheaded by Division of Fishes Curator Marc Kibbey, who served as logistics coordinator and chief box mover for our three trips to the Bloomington facility where the material had been stored. Like so much of what we do, this move depended on the help of our students, volunteers, and colleagues, who showed up over several weekends to help us move thousands of boxes of specimens.
The Simon collection includes a synoptic collection of Indiana fish diversity plus extensive holdings of larval freshwater fish from across the US. It also contains historical collections that had been “orphaned” when institutions closed or experts retired. Unpacking and integrating the more than 10 million specimens we have acquired through this gift will occupy us for years to come. The tasks of accessioning, rehousing, and databasing the specimens are leavened by the opportunity to see so many fish, and to find some real gems within the collection.
Dr. Meg Daly is the Director of the OSU Museum of Biological Diversity, Professor in the department of Evolution, Ecology & Organismal Biology and manages the Lab of Marine Invertebrate Diversity.