Vertabrates

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Luzon Island, Philippines

Eric Rickart, Ph.D.

Curator of Vertebrates
Utah Museum of Natural History

Eric Rickart is Curator of Vertebrates at the Utah Museum of Natural History. He developed a strong interest in natural history and mammals early in life, learning taxidermy and starting his own collection of small mammals when he was in junior high school. These interests were strongly reinforced when he attended the University of Kansas for his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees, where he worked and conducted research on mammalian ecology and evolution in the Museum of Natural History.

Dr. Rickart began working with the Philippine Mammal Project in 1987, with a special interest in the highly diverse and unusual native rodents. He has acquired many nicknames in the Philippines over the years, including "Felix" and "the Viking."


Phillip Alviola

Vertebrate Collections Manager
Museum of Natural History, University of the Philippines

Phillip Alviola grew up as the son of a biologist at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños (about 40 miles south of Manila), where he developed strong interests in wildlife by helping his father with field studies. He graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor's Degree in Biology and is currently completing a Master's Degree in Wildlife Studies.

Phillip worked for several years as a field biologist with many conservation organizations in the Philippines, pursuing a special interest in the diverse species of bats. He was recently hired as the person responsible for care of the collection of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians at the Museum of Natural History, University of the Philippines at Los Baños. He often joins the Philippine Mammal Project team in the field, and came to The Field Museum for advanced training in 2007.


Joel Sarmiento

Freelance Wildlife Specialist
Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Joel Sarmiento grew up in a small town on the Bataan Peninsula, west of Manila Bay. After graduating from high school, he took a variety of jobs before settling into a position with the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources, working as a park guard, community conservation organizer, and wildlife specialist. Joel began working with the Philippine Mammal Project in 2004 and now joins the team every year on nearly every survey. Like Danny, Joel speaks English and four of the many Philippine languages.


Maria Josefa Veluz

Mammal Collection Manager
Philippine National Museum

Maria Josefa (Sweepea) Veluz is the person in charge of the Mammal Section at the Philippine National Museum, which has the largest research collection of mammals in the Philippines. Like many people in the Philippines, she acquired a nickname as a small child that has stuck with her. Sweepea has broad interests in mammal evolution and ecology, and in techniques for the care of research collections. She often joins the Philippine Mammal Project team in the field (first in 2004), and came to The Field Museum for advanced training in 2006.