Director of the Joseph Moore Museum; Assistant Professor of Biology
- Joseph Moore Museum
- Museum Studies
- Environmental Science
- Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
- M.S., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
- B.S., Bryn Mawr College
I co-teach Ecological Biology, a course that uses outdoor labs at some of Earlham's beautiful properties to introduce students to the natural history and ecology of this region and includes a field research project complete with statistical analysis.
I teach two Museum Studies courses: Natural History Museum Curation and Science in Informal Settings.
Natural History Museum Curation: Through weekly labs in the natural history collections of the Joseph Moore Museum, students gain hands-on experience with collections care and use including integrated pest management, preparing animal specimens, doing research with specimens, and accessioning, organizing and cataloging specimens into the collection using the Specify museum database software.
Science in Informal Settings: Public interest in science is growing, yet traditional academic training does not prepare scientists to communicate their findings to a broad audience. Students in this course become familiar with theories about and methods of communicating science successfully to audiences in an informal setting (e.g. museum exhibit, poster, tour, website). Students evaluate existing museum exhibits at the Joseph Moore Museum, observe tours, and develop a final project that presents a scientific topic of interest to the public.
Heather Lerner works with students both as director of the Joseph Moore Museum, Earlham’s natural history museum, and in the biology classroom. She has also led a May Term off-campus program in Hawaii.
As for her research interests, she is currently working on establishing the evolutionary history of Hawaiian Honeycreepers, including ancient extinct birds from fossil specimens, and addressing the evolution of the raptorial lifestyle using comparative genomics.
Molecular phylogenetics and population genetics of avian species Mitochondrial genomes of birds, reptiles, mammals Next-generation sequencing protocol development
American Ornithologists Union (2005 to present)
Society for Systematic Biologists (2004 to present)
Raptor Research Foundation (since 2002 to present)