Bruce Experiences Webinar: How CT Imaging is Revolutionizing Natural History Museums

In a Zoom webinar on Tuesday, September 22, at 7:00 pm, Dr. Ed Stanley, Associate Scientist and Director of the Digital Discovery and Dissemination Lab at the Florida Museum of Natural History, discusses the CT scans of reptiles, mammals, and fossils currently on display in the Bruce Museum science exhibition Under the Skin. The virtual program is free for Museum members; $10 non-members. To participate, or to join the Museum as a member, visit this page at brucemuseum.org or call 203-869-0376.

“Natural history collections serve a critical role for scientists wanting to study patterns and changes of biodiversity, though access to these important resources has, historically, been limited,” says Dr. Stanley. “New digitization efforts are providing novel opportunities for researchers and democratizing access to specimens for scientists, educators, and the general public.”

“This virtual talk will use examples from cretaceous amphibians, armored lizards, and burrowing frogs, showcased so wonderfully in the Bruce Museum’s Under the Skin exhibition, to discuss how scanning museum specimens with computerized tomography (CT) to create cross-sectional images is facilitating exciting new research and educational initiatives,” Stanley says.

On view at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, through November 29, 2020, Under the Skin samples images made possible by a remarkable array of technologies—CT scanning, infrared cameras, scanning electron microscopes, and more—that allow scientists to visualize the marvels of evolution that lie below the surface. All of the images presented in the exhibition were captured in the past five years, thus representing the cutting edge of modern imaging. Many showcase amazing discoveries that were undreamt of just a decade ago. Natural history specimens from the Bruce Museum and on loan from other collections complement each image and reinforce the role of museums as stewards of natural history. 

Visitors will learn how we can peer into the inner ear of a frog smaller than a pistachio, count the unborn babies inside a pregnant tiger shark, and reveal the age of a 10-ton dinosaur from microscopic structures in its bones. Exploring the relationship between light and nature, visitors will discover that flying squirrels can glow a fluorescent pink, pelican pouches burst into color in infrared, and macaroni penguins have invented their own special brand of the color yellow. 

“Nature is full of beauty, at scales great and small,” says Curator of Science Dr. Daniel Ksepka, organizer of the exhibition. “Under the Skin highlights a dozen recent discoveries through a combination of remarkable imagery and real biological specimens. While each represents a research breakthrough, these striking and in many cases prize-winning images can rightfully be considered art in their own right.” 

The Bruce Museum is grateful for exhibition support from a Committee of Honor Co-Chaired by Sue Baker, Ingrid Delson, Lisette Henrey, Gale and Bob Lawrence, and Dr. Kim Nichols. Additional support for Bruce Museum exhibitions is generously provided by the 2019-20 Bruce Museum Council, Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund, the Connecticut Office of the Arts, and Sylvia and Leonard Marx, Jr.

View the objects and visualizations displayed in the physical exhibition, along with bonus content and links to help explore more deeply, by taking a virtual tour of the exhibition: https://www.undertheskinexhibition.com/.

More reasons to join the Bruce Museum or renew your membership include: 

  • Two months free membership with the promo code EXTEND2020 
  • Shopping Concierge Service for Members from the Bruce Museum Store. Free Delivery in Greenwich or curbside pickup, Tuesday-Sunday. Email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Free Bruce Experiences programs and discounted Bruce Presents programs.
  • Reciprocal admission to many other museums through FWMA and ASTC, and more.

For more information about Bruce Experiences programs, exclusive exhibition previews, and other Museum member benefits, contact Laura Freeman, Membership Manager, at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 203-413-6764.


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