Thompson receives service award from American Society of Mammalogists

I was fortunate to have been recognized by ASM president, Eileen Lacey, and received the 2016 President’s Special Award (see here).

UMMZ Mammal Collection Suspending Operations


In lieu of our relocation to our new collection facilities, we have decided to suspend operations in the UMMZ mammal collections. Please check out this link for more details!

Ancient hybridization and subsequent mitochondrial capture in ground squirrels (genus Ictidomys)

Occasional Papers

Check out our recent publication on ancient hybridization in ground squirrels! It was published this week in the Occasional Papers of the Museum of Texas Tech University!

Undergraduate Research Positions Available!!!


The Thompson Lab of Mammalogy is seeking the help of 2 undergraduate researchers to assist with a collaborative project with the University of Michigan Medical School. The project is examining secular changes in bone strength that have been observed in humans. It is thought that these changes may result in part from exposure to environmental chemicals. To understand the observations seen in human bone, wild mouse populations will be sampled to determine whether similar patterns exist in nature. To do such, morphological analyses will be conducted on historical collections of deer mice (Peromyscus sp.) found in the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology (UMMZ) to assess bone strength of populations before known use of environmental chemicals. In addition, a recent sample of deer mice will be collected locally to assess bone strength in populations after known exposure to environmental chemicals.

The student researchers will participate in the fieldwork required for sampling deer mice populations locally. The students also will be involved with the preparation of museum specimens for nano-CT scanning. In addition, they will assist with processing deer mice collected for this project. All mice collected for this project will be cataloged and deposited in the UMMZ. Depending on the availability of research funds, the students also will help genotype mice for potential population genetic work.  Additional training in a laboratory mouse lab may be possible. These positions are available as EEB 300 or 400 level courses.

If interested, please contact Cody Thompson (

What is Peromyscus? Evidence from nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences suggests the need for a new classification


Our new paper on Peromyscus phylogenetics is out in early-view! Check it out on the Journal of Mammalogy website.

Myers Endowed Award for Field Research established


To honor the UMMZ Mammal Division’s Curator and Professor Emeritus Phil Myers’ passion for and contributions to field biology and his commitment to education, Curator and Professor Emeritus James Patton, University of California, Berkeley, gave a generous gift to create the Dr. Phil Myers Endowed Award for Field Research. Dr. Patton’s gift will establish a scholarship for graduate students doing field- or collection-based research associated with the UMMZ or U-M Biological Station, with preference for students studying mammals. Phil was Dr. Patton’s first PhD student at Berkeley.

Behind the Scenes Day: engrossed in the wonder of science


Nearly 600 members of the community became engrossed in the wonder of science during Behind the Scenes Day Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015. Because the collections will be moved over to a state-of-the-art storage facility beginning later in 2015, this was the last event of its kind to be held at Ruthven.

Local Middle School Visits Mammal Collections


I recently had the opportunity to give a tour of UMMZ mammal collections to 41 middle school students from the St. Damian School. The students and their teachers had the opportunity to learn about mammals and the importance of natural history collections. For more information, read the news item published on the UMMZ website!!!

Systematics of the Neotoma mexicana species group (Mammalia: Rodentia: Cricetidae) in Mesoamerica: new molecular evidence on the status and relationships of N. ferruginea Tomes, 1862


Check out our new paper on the systematics of the Neotoma mexicana species group in this issue of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington.

Shi wins N. American Society for Bat Research’s Koopman Prize

UMMZ doctoral student, Jeff Shi, recently received the Karl F. Koopman Prize from the North American Society for Bat Research.  Shi presented “Speciation and skull morphological evolution are decoupled across extant bats”.  Shi and Michigan undergraduate, Nathan Katlein, have been utilizing bat specimens from the UMMZ Mammal Division in their research.