Department Names Karen Wright As New Insect Collection Assistant Curator

Karen Wright

Karen Wright. Submitted photo.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas–The Department of Entomology would like to welcome Ms. Karen Wright as the new Assistant Curator of the Texas A&M Insect Collection starting June 1.

Wright will replace Mr. Ed Riley who retired in August of 2015 after working more than 27 years with the department.

Before joining the Department, Wright worked as a graduate assistant in the Arthropod Division of the University of New Mexico’s Museum of Southwestern Biology in Albuquerque in 2015 and as a graduate assistant in the museum’s herbarium during the spring semesters of 2012-2014.

In 2010-2011, Wright was a research assistant for the United States National Park Service’s Sister Park Program. While with that program she organized and supervised eight collecting expeditions to White Sands National Monument and Cuatro Ciénegas National Protected Area in Coahuila, Mexico, where she and her team conducted arthropod inventories. She also managed the processing of the collected material by undergraduate students and the distribution of specimens to a wide range of experts for research and identification.

Wright has also assisted the collection manager of the dry arthropod collection at the University of New Mexico’s Museum of Southwestern Biology’s Arthropod Division and worked for several years as a field technician supervisor with the Sevilleta Long Term Ecological Research program.

She received the Biology Scholarship Award in Research and Academic Record from the University of New Mexico and the Harry Wayne Springfield Scholarship for Excellence in Research and Academic Record.

Wright is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Biology at the University of New Mexico and received her Master of Science in Entomology from Oregon State. She also received a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science at the University of Delaware.

“After a broad national search we are very pleased that Ms. Karen Wright will join our team as the next assistant curator of the Texas A&M University Insect collection in June,” said Dr. John Oswald, Professor and Curator of the Texas A&M University Insect Collection. “Ms. Wright has a strong background in insect systematics (especially bees), a long association with insect collections, and extensive experience in project and team management.  These experiences and skills have equipped her to manage the daily operations of our large collection, and to help advance our mission as a research collection.”

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