Museum Curator

Dr. Silvia E. Pavan -


I was born and grew up in southeastern Brazil, completed part of my studies in Brazil and part in the USA, and started as the Vertebrate Museum Curator at Cal Poly Humboldt in Jan 2022.

I am broadly interested in biodiversity, and I work with fieldwork exploration and collections-based research to discover and describe species, and to understand species diversity and evolution. My research has been focused on different groups of mammals, especially marsupials and rodents. In my studies, I use distinct sources of evidence, including morphological and genomic data, to address questions in systematics, biogeography and evolution. I use both traditional tools, such as the collection and analyses of anatomical data from museum specimens, and modern methods to obtain DNA sequences from historical material deposited in scientific collections.

Collections Manager

Alyssa Semerdjian -

Alyssa holding a woodrat

I grew up in southern California, completed my masters at Cal Poly Humboldt and am currently working on my PhD at Oregon State Univeristy. My current research investigates small mammal morphological adaptations at varying scales across time and space, using a variety of types of museum specimens to answer my questions. 

My current position in the Vertebrate Musuem is primarily data management as we are working on putting all of our specimen data on Arctos - a platform used by museums worldwide to make their data accessible to researchers and the public. I also prepare and maintain specimens (which involves a variety of different duties that are generally more flashy than editing our database).  If you are a Cal Poly Humboldt student and are interested in seeing what a collections manager does and maybe trying out some of these tasks as a volunteer feel free to reach out!

Affiliate Researchers


See profiles on 'opportunities' page!