|Collections Manager Jean
DeMouthe and Collections Manager Robert VanSyoc in the IZ &
William P. Gibbons is elected Curator of Geology & Mineralogy,
succeeded a year later by John B. Trask.
Collections are destroyed in the earthquake and fire. One
specimen is salvaged an ammonite collected by John
The Galápagos Expedition returns with a substantial
number of fossils, beginning a new collection.
The Henry Hemphill Collection of marine, freshwater and land
shells, over 60,000 specimens, is donated to the Academy.
The Stanford University and Hopkins Marine Station collections
are adopted. The ten tons of material doubles
the size of the collections. It includes specimens collected
by E. F. Doc Ricketts and John Steinbeck in the
Sea of Cortez.
The Departments of Geology and Invertebrate Zoology are combined
into a single department, fondly known as IZ & G.
Biology | Botany
Zoology & Geology:
The Study of Animals without Backbones & The Study of the Earth
The Department maintains four major collections: recent invertebrates,
fossils, diatoms, and minerals. These collections are the most diverse
within the Academy and contain about 2.5 million specimens.
Have Evolved into Slugs
During their evolution, sea slugs developed a wide range of toxic
and noxious chemicals,which provide protection from predators. These
toxic defenses allowed this group of snails, called nudibranchs, to
discard their shells. Field studies of these animals have taken Curator
Terry Gosliner to southern Africa, the western Indian Ocean, Papua
New Guinea, Hawaii, the Caribbean, the Azores, Baja California, the
Galápagos Islands and both coasts of the United States.
Fine Collection of Fossil Ammonites
Ammonites, an extinct group of shelled marine animals, are widespread
in the foothills of the Great Central Valley, which was covered by
ocean 65 million years ago. In Shasta County, erosion has exposed
the fossils. John B. Trask studied ammonites as early as 1855. In
the 1900s F. M. Anderson continued collecting from the rich Sacramento
Valley deposits. Until he retired in 1997 Curator Peter U. Rodda (left)
conducted modern research on ammonites.
Diatoms, single-celled plants, reveal silica (glass) cell walls
with complex structures when viewed under a microscope. Curator
J. Patrick Kociolek studies modern diatoms, but also looks at the
fossil record to find patterns in the relationships and distribution
of these plants. He is interested in the broader questions of pattern
and process in evolutionary biology.