Robert A. Pritzker Director

Curator of Zoology (Fishes) at the Field Museum of Natural History and Director of the Biodiversity Synthesis Center. Mark's research program focuses on marine and freshwater fishes, the biomechanics of feeding, locomotion and respiration in animals ranging from insects to fishes to birds, and the synthesis of evolutionary trees with biomechanical traits to better understand evolution. In particular his recent research has focused on understanding the biodiversity, function and history of life on coral reefs and the use of large evolutionary trees in combination with biodiversity databases such as EOL to integrate information across disciplines.

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Assistant Director

Associate Curator in the Department of Botany at The Field Museum of Natural History, Rick's research focuses on plant systematics and evolution, emphasizing phylogenetics and biogeography. He has an active field program in the mountains of south-central China, and uses DNA sequences and other kinds of data to study the diversification of species there. He also enjoys thinking about and writing software for phylogenetic inference.

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Scientific Program Manager

Audrey came to the Biodiversity Synthesis Center after three years as a research scientist at Louisiana State University where she studied the evolution and systematics of corbulid bivalves. Audrey received her doctorate in Integrative Biology from U.C. Berkeley in 2003 for her research on the systematics and feeding ecology of naticid gastropods. Audrey manages the Center's synthesis meeting proposal process and digital media and learning initiatives.

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Postdoctoral Research Associate

Torsten's expertise is the taxonomy, phylogeny, and biodiversity of Asiloidea flies (Insecta: Diptera) and his research has focused in particular on “assassin”- or “robber flies” (Asilidae)—one of the largest groups of true flies. He joined the Biodiversity Synthesis Center after completing his Ph.D. in entomology at Cornell University and the American Museum of Natural History followed by a short postdoc at the same museum. He is originally from Germany and has traveled the world to study and collect flies in habitats ranging from hot deserts to temperate forests and subtropical grasslands to tropical rain-forests.

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Postdoctoral Research Associate

Josh completed his doctorate at Boston University and has done extensive research on the biogeography and conservation of Melanesian coral reef fishes, working in the “Coral Triangle” biodiversity hotspot. His primary research combines phylogenetics, molecular systematics and biogeography to drive innovative biodiversity research as well as resources for conservationists.

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Biodiversity Informatics Specialist

Kris is the Biodiversity Informatics Specialist at BioSynC. He has a B.S.E. in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan and a M.S. in computer science from DePaul University. He is currently working on developing new tree visualization tools for phylogenetic trees and also maintains this very site.

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Outreach Coordinator

Beth is the Outreach Coordinator for the Biodiversity Synthesis Group at the Field Museum of Natural History. She develops, manages and facilitates several different digital outreach projects with Field Museum scientists and the Encyclopedia of Life. Some of which include:

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Software Developer

Chris is a software developer at BioSync working on web based tools for evolutionary biologists. After receiving a B.S in computer science from the University of Dayton, he moved to Southern California to work as a software engineer at a couple of start up companies. After a few years, he moved back to the Midwest to continue his academic career at Depaul University - getting an M.S. in computer science. Currently, his research is focused on the Semantic Web.

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Administrative Assistant

Sarah Kim is the part-time administrative assistant for the Biodiversity Synthesis Center at the Field Museum of Natural History. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. After working in social services, then the corporate world, she made the transition to nonprofit scientific research. Sarah helps coordinate the logistics for synthesis meetings and helps in day-to-day running of the facility.

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