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Author/Editor: N. Sivasothi
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore.


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Thu 24 Jun 2004

Visiting Curatorship at the Paris Museum: Tan Swee Hee

Category : research


Tan Swee Hee in the attic laboratory, pictured between Alain Crosnier and Shane Ahyong.

Tan Swee Hee (Systematics & Ecology Lab) was invited to the Museum national d'Histoire naturelle (Paris museum) as a visiting curator by the former Directeur de recherches de classe exceptionnelle of Institut de Recherche pour le Développment (IRD, formerly ORSTOM) and world-renowned Penaeid expert, M. Alain Crosnier. The Paris Museum programme invites specialists to work on marine organisms in the vast collection, stocked significantly by the MUSORSTOM expeditions.

The expeditions are a collaborative effort between the Paris Museum and IRD. Numerous intensive collections began in the late 1970s and the Paris Museum presently holds specimens from 82 MUSORSTOM expeditions from 10 territories, from a total of 5903 collecting stations! This is probably one of the largest collections of Indo-Pacific marine organisms in the world.

Pictured on the left is a new species of Garthambrus that will be described in an upcoming revision of the genus with Colin McLay of the University of Canterbury.

Species belonging in the genus Garthambrus are mainly deep-sea crabs and this particular male specimen (17.3 x 12.5 mm) was obtained from Vanuatu at a depth of 460-480 m. Photograph courtesy of MUSORSTOM.

Swee Hee worked on the the family of crabs known as the Parthenopidae for two months in 1999 and more recently, April of 2004. He identified the MUSORSTOM parthenopids and assisted in the rearrangement and nomenclatural updating of the museum's collection, possibly the world's largest. With this data set and others, he was able to complete a worldwide revision of the Parthenopidae.

He worked in Crosnier's laboratory at the attic of the Département Systématique et Évolution, which he shared with stomatopod (mantis shrimp) specialist Dr. Shane Ahyong from the Australian Museum. Shane is no stranger to the Raffles Museum as he has several ongoing research projects with staff and students and is a former recipient of the Raffles Museum's Short term visiting research fellowship.

Posted at 5:25AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,