BISHOP MUSEUM RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS SCIENCE GRANT
Honolulu, HI – The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded a $700,000 grant to Bishop Museum scientists Allen Allison and Fred Kraus to survey amphibians and reptiles in Papua New Guinea. The funding will be used over five years to support 15 major field expeditions to previously unexplored regions in that country.
Bishop Museum’s Vice President of Science Allen Allison said, “NSF grants are highly prestigious. The competition is intense, involving comprehensive peer review. We are honored to be a recipient and pleased that we can now move forward with our work in Papua New Guinea.”
Museum scientists will conduct intensive inventories of amphibians and reptiles in unstudied areas and also provide logistical support for a team of colleagues conducting concordant studies of herpetological parasites, mammals, birds, land snails, and aquatic insects.
Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea as well as associated archipelagos to the north. It has one of the richest assemblages of reptiles and amphibians in the world, with an estimated 950-1000 total species, twice as many as North America, which is 40 times larger.
The study led by Bishop Museum is expected to unveil another 120 new species of reptiles and amphibians. Documenting indigenous species will advance conservation planning in the country. Finally, it will train the next generation of herpetologists, including the first professional Papua New Guinean herpetologists, and at least two American graduate students.
The Bishop Museum is the largest museum in the state and the premier natural and cultural history institution in the Pacific, recognized for its cultural collections, research projects, consulting services, and public educational programs. It holds one of the largest natural history specimen collections in the world. Bishop Museum's mission since its founding has been to study, preserve and tell the stories of the cultures and natural history of Hawaii and the Pacific. For more information, please visit www.bishopmuseum.org.