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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

… but let us take this opportunity to tell you about Dr. Dave Pawson. We are celebrating his 50 years at the National Museum of Natural History!

Dave Pawson at his microscope

Dr. Dave Pawson is a Senior Research Scientist / Marine Biologist with the museum’s Department of Invertebrate Zoology primarily studying echinoderms, especially sea urchins, sea cucumbers, brittle stars, sea lilies, and their relatives. Over the course of his career, he has completed field work in a great variety of marine habitats all over the world.

One good reason Dave Pawson has been so successful in his 50 years at NMNH is that he is good at finding things. (Left photo: Dr. Pawson behind his microscope before color photography was invented, actually, c. 1980)

He will also search through drawers and drawers of collections to find that one missing specimen. (Below photo: Dr. Pawson, posing with his best inquisitive gaze into museum collections. c. 1975)

Dave Pawson, circa 1973
Dave Pawson, c. 1973
Dave Pawson doing research on specimens in the collection of the NMNH Department of Invertebrate Zoology

And in pursuit of the animals he studies, he has made more than 100 dives in manned submersibles down to depths of more than two miles. (Left below photo: Dr. Pawson wedged snuggly in a submersible (or time machine?) in Curacao, August 2012. Right below photo: boarding submersible Alvin in 1975 with fancy scientist sweater and fashionable sub slippers.)

Pawson entering a submergiblePawson boarding Alvin submersible 1975

To read more about his accomplishments and research in his 50 years at NMNH, follow the links below:

Or to try and find what you were really looking for, use the search box below.

Congratulations Dave, you are one heck of a great colleague and one hell of a great guy.
— From your friends in the NMNH IT Office

Dr. David Pawson, discoverer of the Invisible Sea Cucumber, fondling one of his specimens. Left: the sea cucumber under visible light. Right: the sea cucumber under infrared light.

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