Oral Presentation- Symposium 12th International Mammalogical Congress

Integrating modern and fossil museum collections to resolve taxonomic problems: The journey of a Churchill Fellow (#188)

Kenny J Travouillon 1
  1. Western Australian Museum, Welshpool, WA, Australia

Museum collections often house some hidden treasures. New species are sometimes found amongst specimens of another, unnoticed for decades. However, specimens can often be scattered across several museums, in different states or countries, making it difficult and expensive to access and study them properly. The Churchill Fellowship, supported by the Churchill Trust, gives a unique opportunity to travel to multiple museums in multiple countries, to undertake such study. This journey will aim to study closely all museum specimens in the order Peramelemorphia (bandicoots and bilbies), to review type specimens, historical specimens (collected in the 1800s), and even fossil specimens (as old as later Oligocene in age), to uncover new species, revise current species, and uncover the evolutionary history of this group. The results of this journey, undertaken in April and May 2017, will be presented, providing a unique insight and highlight future research that can help continue broadening our understanding of this order of mammals.