FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 10, 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: Jenni Tetzlaff, Director of Marketing & Communications, 414-278-2784, Tetzlaff@mpm.edu
Milwaukee, Wis. -- The Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) has awarded three John J. Brander and
Christine E. Rundblad Research Fellowships for 2017 to Dr. Suzanne Joneson, Department of Biology,
University of Wisconsin – Waukesha; Dr. Todd Levine, Department of Life Sciences, Carroll
University; and Dr. Michael Pauers, Department of Biology, University of Wisconsin – Waukesha.
Dr. Joneson will be studying cyanobacteria, refining our understanding of the genetic diversity of
Nostoc, a genus for cyanobacteria, and its symbiotic partners throughout Wisconsin.
Cyanobacteria are very important organisms for the health and growth of many plants. They also are
one of very few groups of organisms that can convert inert atmospheric nitrogen into an organic
form, such as nitrate or ammonia. It is these "fixed” forms of nitrogen which plants need for their
growth, and must obtain from the soil.
Dr. Levine will be looking at how mussel shells are influenced by their environment, the
ecomorphology of mussels. This research will play a big part in conservation efforts should these
animals need to be relocated because of construction projects. Relocation to a habitat not suitable
for the mussel, based on shape, could result in loss of the population in that locality. This
project will involve citizen scientists taking measurements from digital photos of specimens in the
Dr. Pauers will continue his search for the large-scaled Orangespotted Sunfish in Wisconsin. He
will expand the project to include genetic diversity of the species as well as historical and
contemporary abundance in Wisconsin.
MPM’s John J. Brander and Christine E. Rundblad Research Fellowship Program seeks to stimulate
fundamental research by scientists doing research on Wisconsin biodiversity or environmental
issues, especially those that utilize and strengthen the natural science
collections at MPM. The award is given annually to two or three fellows.
The fellowship was created as part of the one million dollar gift given to MPM by Board
Member and long-time Museum volunteer Christine Rundblad in 2015. The fellowship is co- named after
Ms. Rundblad’s late husband, John J. Brander, who was a Milwaukee-area entrepreneur and business
For more information on the John J. Brander and Christine E. Rundblad Research Fellowship Program
go to www.mpm.edu/researchfellows.
About the Milwaukee Public Museum
The Milwaukee Public Museum is a natural and human history museum located in downtown Milwaukee,
Wisconsin. The museum is among the oldest in the United States, with a history dating back to the
1850’s. It was chartered in 1882 and opened to the public in 1884. MPM has three floors of exhibits
that encompass life-size dioramas, walk-through villages, world cultures, dinosaurs, a rain forest
and a live butterfly garden, as well as the Daniel M. Soref National Geographic Theater and
MPM has 4 million specimens and objects in its collections and has an active program of research in
natural science. The Museum hosts nearly half a million visitors each year, making it the most
visited museum, of any type, in the State. MPM is operated by Milwaukee Public Museum, Inc., a
private, non- profit organization, and its building and collections are owned and supported by
Milwaukee County for the benefit of the public.