For this lab, "we" refers to all of those who work in any capacity in the Fish Collection, and that list is in the Biodiversity Center's web pages (which will open in a new tab). Here, we provide basic info about our projects and daily activities, which fall into the basic categories of:
- Basic curation, growth, maintenance and improvement of the Fish Collection - We spend our days working with specimens and the data associated with them. We acquire specimens via our own fieldwork and from specimen donors like Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and other state and federal agencies, as well as other researchers.
- Data management and data dissemination, both of our own data and that of others - "Data" consists of the computerized inventory of our collections of preserved specimens, frozen tissues and diverse other specimen preparations, photos we take of specimens and related documentation (ranging from field notes and images contributed by collectors, notes on identifications, etc.). Just as libraries lend books, we loan our specimens to researchers worldwide, and we serve our specimen data to the world via major aggregators of such biodiversity data, and our own websites, like the Fishes of Texas Project's online database.
- Research - Studies are typically linked to the Fish Collection specimens and the data associated with them (but also involve fieldwork). Results of our investigations provide information about the history, ecology, evolution and conservation of the species we work with. We also collaborate extensively with natural resource managers, such as Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. and The Nature Conservancy, to ensure that research findings can be translated into on-the-ground benefits for the fishes of Texas and their habitats.
We always welcome new collaborators, volunteers and students into our lab and have opportunities (sometimes paid) in all of those categories.