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Leanne Elder, Ph.D


I am the collections manager for the Division of Invertebrate Zoology at the Colorado University Museum of Natural History. I am in charge of collection care including data-basing and remediation. I integrate new material into the collection from my research as well as facilitating other scientists depositing their specimens. I am currently developing a new course for the Masters in Museum and Field Studies program titled " Incorporating Museum collections into a Research Strategy." 

Previously I was a Research Scientist at Yale University with appointments in Pincelli Hull's lab in the Department of Geology and Geophysics, and the Peabody Museum of Natural History. In Dr. Hull's lab I worked on ecophysiology of Foraminifera, which are a testate protists that have an excellent fossil record, yet w.e know little about their modern biology. While working for the Peabody Museum I conducted biodiversity surveys of historic sites and added new material to their collections. I also helped develop digitization methods for microfossils. 


I received my PhD from the University of Rhode Island in Dr. Brad Seibel’s lab. My dissertation incorporated physiological, biochemical and molecular techniques to measure the responses of marine invertebrates to naturally and anthropogenically induced environmental stress. I focused on hyperiid amphipods living in Oxygen Minimum Zones (OMZs). Like most zooplankton, hyperiid amphipods vertically migrate in a diel pattern; spending the day in deeper colder waters and migrating to the surface at night. Understanding how the current temperature and oxygen levels affect migrating zooplankton will help predict how increased ocean temperatures from global warming will impact their distribution, and ecology.

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