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Biology Department Facilities

Zoology Lab/Museum

In the summer of 2003, the Zoology Lab was completely renovated and remodeled to include a museum and a separate laboratory. This complex is a comfortable place to study zoology or ecology.  The lab components of zoology, aquatic biology and ecology use these rooms in alternate semesters.  Typically, for all of these labs about 1/2 of the semester is spent in the field, with the other 1/2 spent in the lab processing collections, studying preserved specimens, or conducting experiments.




The laboratory space.  The lab has seating for up to 16, housing for classroom displays of animals, internet connections, a glass-front refrigerator for holding animals at cooler temperatures (above right), whiteboard and projection screen.  Collections and the zoology library are in the adjacent rooms (right).

Collections housed in the lab include an excellent assemblage of Ohio reptiles (left), along with good collections of amphibians, birds and mammals, and a decent collection of fish.  Invertebrate collections (below) include representative marine fauna, a growing collection of aquatic insects, especially Odonata, and an outstanding collection of tropical Lepidoptera donated to the college by alum J.T. McBurney.  Also of note is the world-class mollusc collection of Harla Ray Eggleston, after whom the department is named.  Eggleston, a professor of biology at Marietta, taught biology from 1915 to 1960.  The Muskingum River, which runs through Marietta, has one of the most diverse mussel faunas in the world, and Eggleston was an expert on molluscs.  Most of his collection is on permanent loan from Marietta College to the Museum of Biological Diversity at Ohio State.  Other components remain at Marietta College and are supplemented by the Hildreth, Jones, and other collections made by Marietta biologists.

Above:  One of the beetle drawers from the insect collection.

Above:  Representative insects.

Above:  Some of the original specimens from the Eggleston Collection.  Most of the collection is on loan to Ohio State.


Above: One of the drawers from the McBurney collection of tropical Lepidoptera.  Below: Ornithoptera brookianus Wallace 1855.  This specimen is from the McBurney collection; it was collected on the Malay peninsula.  You may recall Wallace as the naturalist who developed a theory of evolution at the same time as Darwin.


The zoology library has a wide range of books (right), chiefly keys and other guides to the various animal groups.  These range from general works to specific monographs on particular groups.  There are also works supporting the ecology and aquatic biology program.  For the latter, the collection was greatly strengthened by the donation of a number of books by John Olive, Professor Emeritus at the University of Akron.  Dr. Olive was one of the pioneers in the science of using bioindicators for the evaluation of water quality.  Also, as a founding member of the Ohio Biological Survey, the Biology and Environmental Science Department constantly receives new publications from the Ohio Biological Survey, one of the premier publishers of monographs on natural history in the country.  In 2002, the Survey published The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Ohio, which was co-edited by Dr. Dave McShaffrey of the Department of Biology and Environmental Science at Marietta College.

Below are 4 microcosms created by students taking the ecology lab.  The oldest, the small rectangular tank in the center, was sealed airtight in 1989 and has maintained populations of ostracods and amphipods ever since.  Creation of microcosms is one of the main activities of the ecology lab; students attempt to design a self-contained, sealed ecosystem.  Before the tanks are sealed for good, students monitor oxygen, carbon dioxide, pH, temperature and other parameters using digital probes attached to computers in the lab. Additional equipment is available in the adjacent Animal Behavior and General Biology laboratories. Student microscopes are available in the lab; additional research-grade microscopes with digital cameras are available in the research lab around the corner on the same floor. The zoology lab is networked to the campus intranet and the internet; computers are available in both the lab and museum.  Presentations can be made in the lab using both large-screen TV monitors and/or computerized projection equipment.



Other facilities which support the zoology program are an equipment locker with nets (aerial, Odonata, sweeping, D-ring, seines, etc), waders, Ekman Dredges, Secchi disks. water samplers, stakes, measuring tapes, quadrant plots, light traps, plankton nets, etc. GPS equipment is available and backed up by the GIS facilities present in the environmental science project room in the Rickey center.  The department has a small boat and can arrange for use of motorboats. The college has dock space and a boathouse on the Muskingum River close to the confluence with the Ohio, and vans, including all-wheel drive vans (left), are available for field trips.  There is also an animal care facility in the basement of the new Rickey Science Center.

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Updated 11/06/03 by DMC