Scientific Assistants


Pio A. Colmenares
AMNH Arachnid (non-Araneae) and Myriapod Collections


Pio
Pio is a biologist specialized in arachnology, with experience in taxonomy and ecology. His main research interests are the taxonomy, systematics, ecology, conservation and biogeography of Opiliones. In addition to working with Opiliones, he also have experience in the taxonomy of other arachnid orders, such as Amblypygi, Schizomida, Solifugae, and spiders of the family Pholcidae. He received a degree in biology from the University of Zulia (LUZ) in 2008, in Maracaibo, Venezuela. During his time as an undergraduate student he worked as a collaborator in the Biology Museum of La Universidad del Zulia (MBLUZ), Maracaibo, Venezuela. In 2008 he started working at the Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas, IVIC, in Caracas, Venezuela, as research assistant of the Biodiversity Unit. In 2009 he received training in curatorial techniques and management of various natural history collections at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, DC, USA. In 2015 he defended his doctoral thesis on Amazonian Harvestmen communities at the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, INPA, in Manaus, Brazil. In 2016 he became part of the AMNH staff and is currently in charge of the Arachnid (non-Araneae) and Myriapod Collections.

Contact:
Division of Invertebrate Zoology
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
U.S.A.
Email: pcolmenares@amnh.org
Telephone: 212-769-5614


Louis Sorkin
AMNH Arachnid (Araneae) Collections


Lou
Lou began his career in arachnid studies during his graduate work at the University of Connecticut where he researched arthropod parasites of spiders. In 1978, Lou began work on spiders and other arachnids under Dr. Norman Platnick, in what was then the Department of Entomology at the AMNH. Over the years he has sorted through many spider collections and labeled thousands of vials and has worked with many arachnologists, some visiting and examining the museum's collection and sometimes at other institutions during his visits or on excursions from arachnology meetings. He fields many public inquiries regarding insects and other arthropods. He has interests in entomophagy and forensic entomology (the latter includes stored products, urban, and medico-legal studies). Some of the cases and investigations have been aired online, on television and radio and in the print media. At present, some of his studies include investigations of the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) due to the relatively recent increase in infestations of many homes, business, hotels, by this insect and for which he receives inquiries on their natural history and biology and management. He keeps a few bed bug colonies for study and for educational purposes.

Contact:
Division of Invertebrate Zoology
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
U.S.A.
Email: sorkin@amnh.org
Telephone: 212-769-5613


Steve Thurston
Scientific Illustrator


Steve Thurston
While completing his BS in Horticulture at the University of Connecticut (1977), Steve was trained by M.J. Brush in the Biological Illustration studio and began working as a scientific illustrator, drawing bugs for Dr. James A. Slater. He later received his MFA in New Genres/Video at The San Francisco Art Institute and has worked variously as a carpenter, video maker, artist and illustrator. He began full time employment at the AMNH in 1999 as a Scientific Assistant, providing illustration, photo and graphic support to the Division of Invertebrate Zoology.


drawing by Steve Thurston