Vertebrate Zoology Staff

For inquiries and loans, contact Julia Colby,

Dr. Jennifer Zaspel - Head of Zoology or 414-278-6158

Julia Colby – Collection Manager, Zoology or 414-278-2760

Research Associates

Dr. Tony Gamble - Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
Marquette University

Emeritus Curators

Robert W. Henderson - Curator Emeritus of Herpetology

Bob Henderson’s research has been geographically focused on the West Indies, and his taxonomic focus has been on snakes. He is interested in aspects of their natural history, and how they have responded to their shared history with humans, including the dramatic changes humans have wrought on Antillean environments.

Nathan E. Kraucunas - Curator Emeritus of Birds or 414-278-2782

Adjunct Curators

Dr. Michael J. Pauers - Adjunct Curator of Fishes or 414-278-6947

Dr. Michael Pauers’s major research interest is in the diversification of the Lake Malawi endemic cichlid genus Labeotropheus. As currently recognized, Labeotropheus contains two species, L. fuelleborni and L. trewavasae. But, both of these species consist of several allopatric populations, each marked by a characteristic male nuptial color pattern. His research has shown that these populations, due to these color differences, behave as distinct species. He is currently examining morphological and meristic differences among some of these populations.

A second area of research involves the visual ecology of fishes. Dr. Pauers is interested in how fishes, especially cichlids, perceive colors, and how this recognition of color can contribute to a variety of behaviors, ranging from mate recognition to the modulation of aggression to even the timing of circadian behavior.

In Memoriam - Nathan E. Kraucunas
Nathan Kraucunas, Curator Emeritus of Birds, passed peacefully on November 1, 2021 at the age of 71. Nate retired from MPM after 30 years as Curator of Ornithology. A lifelong Milwaukee resident, he graduated from UW-Milwaukee and MATC. Nate was a lover of sailing, travel, photography, nature, and animals. He was a longtime member of the South Shore Yacht Club and Lakefront Festival of Art.