MPM Geology Curatorial Staff

Patricia Coorough Burke
Robert & Sally Manegold Curator of Geological Collections or 414-278-6155

Patricia Coorough Burke's fields of study include Early Paleozoic fossil communities focusing on extinction events. She holds a BS in Biological Sciences, an MS in Geological Sciences, and certifications in science education, all from UW-Milwaukee, where she is an adjunct faculty member. As Curator of the MPM's geological collections, she manages more than a million specimens across the disciplines of invertebrate and vertebrate paleontology, paleobotany, petrology, and mineralogy.

Coorough Burke has spearheaded the effort to transfer the Geology collections records from their original catalog books to a digital format to make them globally accessible. Throughout the past decade, she has been awarded three Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grants totaling $767,000 to support the digitization of the Silurian, Ordovician, and Devonian fossil collections at MPM and the Field Museum of Natural History.

Her most recent publications include an article published by the Geological Society of London entitled “Mazon Creek Fossils Brought to You by Coal, Concretions, and Collectors” (Geological Society, London, Special Publications, Volume 543) as well as a chapter entitled "Museums at the Intersection of Science and Citizen: An Example from a Silurian Reef" in Museums at the Forefront of History, a Geological Society of America publication.

Coorough Burke is currently serving as Chair of the Geological Society of America’s History and Philosophy of Geology Division.

Emeritus Curators

Dr. Peter Sheehan
Curator Emeritus - Geology or 414-278-2741

Active research projects include field-based studies of Ordovician and Silurian Brachiopods and their synecologic associations, ecology of extinction events and radiations, especially the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event (GOBE), the End-Ordovician extinction and subsequent recovery, the physical effects of the Cretaceous/Paleogeone (K/T).

Adjunct Curators

Dr. Stephen Dornbos - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Dr. Margaret Fraiser - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Dr. Mark Harris - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Dr. Gary Rosenberg - Emeritus, Indiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI)

Dr. Rex Alan Hanger - University of Wisconsin-Whitewater