I am one of the two curators of birds in the Field Museum. My husband, John Bates (pictured in my profile picture with our son Peter), is the other curator. So, what does being a curator mean? What do curators do?
A curator's first responsibility is to the collections. That means that we steward the collections for future generations. We are responsible for adding to the collections, for maintaining and caring for the collections, for appropriately allowing access to the collections to qualified individuals, and for advocating strongly for the continuation of collections.
We also do research on the collections. For me that means I love birds and use the specimens in collections as the basis for my research into bird evolution and the bird tree of life.
Museum curators are also a little like university professors with a broad mandate to educate people of all different ages. At Field Museum, curators travel the world to document and study biodiversity and train biodiversity scientists all over the globe. Our research and collections are at the heart of museum exhibitions and educational programs. It's this intimate connection of collections and research to our exhibitions and educational programs that make this terrific institution unique.
To learn more about me and my research, visit my more detailed profile.