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Adam Summers in UW News on openVertebrate, a collaborative project of CT-scanned vertebrate specimens

Thursday, March 7, 2024 - 12:00

UW Biology Professor Adam Summers was featured in a UW News article on openVertebrate, or oVert, a five-year collaborative project among 18 institutions to create 3D reconstructions of vertebrate specimens and make them freely available online. Adam was a collaborator on this project. With oVert, natural history museums can enter a new stage of discovery and accessibility — one where scientists around the globe and curious folks at home can access valuable museum specimens to study, learn or just be amazed.

Between 2017 and 2023, oVert project members took CT scans of more than 13,000 vertebrate specimens. The UW team, working out of Friday Harbor Labs, scanned more than 7,200 specimens — mostly fish, but also reptiles, amphibians and mammals — using the facility’s micro-CT scanner. Many of the specimens scanned at Friday Harbor came from the Burke Museum’s permanent collection. The UW team also trained more than 150 researchers, students and educators from around the world on how to CT scan specimens and analyze them for study purposes.

“It is so exciting to deposit the skeletal data for a new species in a repository where any scientist can access it,” said oVert team member Adam Summers, a UW professor of biology and of aquatic and fishery sciences, who is based at Friday Harbor Labs.

Read the full article on UW News.

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