Bruce Museum’s curator of science named to “40 Under 40” list

The Bruce Museum’s Curator of Science, Dr. Daniel Ksepka, has been named to the prestigious 2015 Fairfield County “40 Under 40” list. Presented each year for the past 11 years by the Fairfield County Business Journal, the 40 Under 40 List recognizes 40 of the best and brightest professionals in Fairfield County, Connecticut who are under the age of 40. This year, the list was described as those under 40 who are “making waves” in Fairfield County: The awards ceremony was held at the Maritime Aquarium on Friday.

“You’re the rising stars of Connecticut,” said Harry W. Rilling, the Mayor of Norwalk, addressing the honorees.

Dr. Ksepka has been at the Bruce Museum for a year, and hopes to make the Bruce Museum a “wellspring for the next generation” through innovative science exhibitions. When asked by the “40 Under 40” administration “40 years from now, what accomplishments would you be most proud of?” this was Dr. Ksepka’s response:

“Museums have always been my favorite places and it would be a proud accomplishment to make the Bruce Museum a wellspring for the next generation through our science exhibitions, like the Sauropod Dinosaurs in the American Museum of Natural History left an indelible mark in my own mind,” Dr. Ksepka said. “One of the other pleasures of building a museum collect ion is that your work survives in perpetuity. It would be rewarding to look back in 40 years and know that specimens added over my tenure are still providing data for scientists who were still students when the first lemur skeleton was added.”

Dr. Ksepka’s first exhibition as Curator of Science at the Bruce is Madagascar: Ghosts of the Past, currently on view in the Museum’s Science Gallery, which offers a rare window into a little-known world.

“The story begins in Ancient Madagascar, when the island first broke away from the southern continents and started drifting into isolation with a cargo of dinosaurs and bizarre crocodilians,” explains Dr. Ksepka. “Our exhibition includes casts of a carnivorous theropod dinosaur suspected of cannibalism and a snub-nosed plant-eating crocodilian. We then move into the more recent past, when dinosaurs went extinct and Madagascar was re-populated by animals crossing the Mozambique Channel and radiating into the open ecological space. Here visitors encounter giant lemurs, pygmy hippos and the elephant bird, a giant flightless species with an egg holding the volume of 150 chicken eggs!”

Madagascar: Ghosts of the Past is on view in the Bruce Museum’s Science Gallery through Nov. 8.

 Dr. Daniel Ksepka Ksepka, Curator of Science at the Bruce Museum, with his wife, Kristin Lamm, at the 2015 Fairfield County “40 Under 40” awards. Dr. Ksepka was honored at the event.

Dr. Daniel Ksepka Ksepka, Curator of Science at the Bruce Museum, with his wife, Kristin Lamm, at the 2015 Fairfield County “40 Under 40” awards. Dr. Ksepka was honored at the event.

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