The University of Texas at Austin Texas Natural Science Center Non-vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory

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About NPL

The Crew


The curator/collection manager is Ann Molineux.
After completing her Ph.D. in the Department of Geological Sciences at UT Austin, it seemed that no occupation could be quite as challenging or exciting as hunting for calcified demosponges (sclerosponges) in the Caribbean. 

She was mistaken.  Fascinated by the wealth of fossil material in the TNSC collections, she was infected by a strong desire to develop some way to make the collections more accessible to everyone else. This involves making them accessible both for research, exhibit, and education.

Her own current paleontological research interests involve relationships between organisms and what can be learned from their patterns of growth, especially within reef environments. She is particularly interested in sponges and rudist bivalves. This research involves fieldwork and study of specimens already in the collections.


Ann Molineux points out the growth pattern of a rudist bivalve

Searching for calcified demosponges

Discussing exhibit specimens with Museum artist John Maisano

Discussing potential specimens for a museum exhibition


Frequently used abbreviations: NPL  Non-vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory | TNSC Texas Natural Science Center | UTDGS Department of Geological Sciences | BEG  Bureau of Economic Geology | VPL Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory | JSG  Jackson School of Geosciences | SUPPORT | VOLUNTEER | GLOSSARY

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