Denver Museum of Nature & Science Welcome New Curator Garth Spellman

DENVER – Dec. 21 – The Denver Museum of Nature & Science, the region’s leading resource for informal science education, announces the addition of Garth Spellman as curator of ornithology.

Spellman focuses on how recent and ancient environmental changes affect bird species. Birds are products of their environments and continually evolve in response to changes in those environments. These evolutionary changes leave footprints in bird DNA. Using these DNA “footprints,” Spellman studies how a species has responded to past environmental changes. The discovery of how a species has responded to past changes provides clues for understanding how current and future changes will impact these birds, and perhaps serve as a key for preserving bird diversity.

“We’re very excited to welcome Garth to our curatorial team,” said Scott Sampson, vice president of research and collections and chief curator. “Garth’s research talents are combined with the harder-to-find ability to share his findings in ways that are exciting and relatable to a variety of audiences.”

Before accepting his new position, Spellman was associate professor of evolutionary biology at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota, and a program officer for the National Science Foundation. He received his PhD from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is a member of the Society for the Study of Evolution, American Ornithologists’ Union and Cooper Ornithological Society.

Spellman takes the reins of an important and historic bird collection, one of the best in the country. The Museum’s ornithology collection contains more than 45,000 specimens representing birds from around the world, dating from 1842 to the present, with a focus on the Rocky Mountain and Great Plains regions.

“I’m looking forward to leading new field expeditions to expand the Museum’s modern bird collections and to continue engaging the public through our ongoing programs,” said Spellman.

About the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is the Rocky Mountain Region’s leading resource for informal science education. Our mission is to be a catalyst and ignite the community’s passion for nature and science. The Museum envisions an empowered community that loves, understands, and protects our natural world. As such, a variety of engaging exhibits, discussions, and activities help Museum visitors celebrate and understand the wonders of Colorado, Earth, and the universe. The Museum is located at 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO, 80205. To learn more about the Museum, visit or call 303-370-6000. Many of the Museum’s educational programs and exhibits are made possible in part by the citizens of the seven-county metro area through the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District. Connect with the Museum on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

NOTE: Photos available.

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