Log Number: MG-45-15-0003-15
The Tulane University Biodiversity Institute will prototype a multi-camera, computer-operated photogrammetric imaging system (named COPIS) for producing 3-D reconstructions of fluid preserved specimens. The project will prioritize type specimens - those specimens critical to naming and describing species and higher groups of organisms - which are often the oldest and most fragile specimens housed in natural history collections. The prototype imaging system will dramatically reduce both the handling time for these delicate specimens as well as the time and computational costs associated with creating the 3D reconstructions. Previously accessible only to visiting scientists, these specimens will now be accessible for researchers and the public, and can be used to educate students about taxonomy, biodiversity, and morphology. The methods developed in this project will be useful for imaging all types of fluid-preserved specimens and will be shared widely with the natural history community.