Bruce Museum hires new curator of science

Daniel Ksepka examining a giant fossil penguin.

Daniel Ksepka examining a giant fossil penguin.

Informative, engaging exhibits are central to the education mission of natural history museums, and the Bruce Museum’s newest curator of science, Daniel Ksepka, Ph. D,  is an expert at designing scientifically accurate and visually striking content for special exhibitions.

Dr. Ksepka joined the Bruce Museum as its newest curator of science in June. He earned his degree in earth and environmental sciences from Columbia University in 2007 and spent five years in residence at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where he performed his dissertation research on the fossil record of penguins and gained broad experience in the curation and study of natural history objects including fossils, skeletal materials, skins and geological specimens.

He recently contributed to several important museum exhibitions, including the traveling Race to the End of the Earth and Mythical Beasts exhibitions at the American Museum of Natural History and the Polar Palooza special exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. His extensive background in science includes science education, which is a “vibrant aspect” of the Bruce Museum’s exhibition programming. Dr. Ksepka has a long track record of successful collaborations with K-12 educators, including designing science content, presenting formal professional development talks for science teachers, and designing workshops for teaching special topics in geology, biology and paleontology.

Dr. Ksepka is also a frequent speaker and writer. He has been a featured speaker at the Nature Research Center at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the Field Museum. In addition to more than 30 formal peer-reviewed research papers, he has written articles for popular science magazines including Scientific American, American Scientist, and Dig. He also keeps a personal blog, titled March of the Fossil Penguins.

“We are delighted that Daniel Ksepka is joining the curatorial staff at the Bruce,” said Peter Sutton, the museum’s executive director. “Daniel comes to us not only with a vast body of knowledge but also with a great deal of creativity and enthusiasm. He is already planning some exciting new science exhibitions for the museum.”

Dr. Ksepka joins the Bruce Museum from the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in North Carolina where he served as a postdoctoral researcher, and retains associate positions at the Field Museum, the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

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