New Exhibit Showcases UTEP Faculty Member’s Nine Years of Research in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Last Updated on February 4, 2016 at 3:45 pm

The von Hohnel's chameleon (Triceros hoehnelii) of Uganda and Kenya, Africa, will change its body color to black in the cool mornings to effectively capture the sun's heat and warm its body. Photo: Eli Greenbaum

The von Hohnel’s chameleon (Triceros hoehnelii) of Uganda and Kenya, Africa, will change its body color to black in the cool mornings to effectively capture the sun’s heat and warm its body. Photo: Eli Greenbaum

When it comes to research at The University of Texas at El Paso, it’s not something that just happens in the classrooms or campus laboratories. UTEP research is happening all over the globe. Since 2007, UTEP’s own Eli Greenbaum, Ph.D., a noted herpetologist and associate professor of evolutionary genetics, has been traveling to the rainforests of the Democratic Republic of Congo to search for – and find – new species of reptiles and amphibians.

The Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens presents the exhibit “Emerald Abyss: Nine Years of Research in the Congo,” based on Greenbaum’s important, and sometimes dangerous, research.

Join us for the opening reception of “Emerald Abyss: Nine Years of Research in the Congo,” Chihuahuan Desert Gardens at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11. Opening remarks will begin at 6 p.m.

To put his research into context, “Emerald Abyss” will include sections on ancient African history, as well as information on the country’s political instability, the Rwandan Genocide, Africa’s World War, environmental impacts and unsustainable harvest of timber and precious metals, poorly known biodiversity, human evolution and close living relatives of humans, tropical disease, and newly found species. Exhibit displays will include photos, videos, audio recordings and artifacts (wooden masks, ceremonial statues and fluid-preserved specimens).

This colorful Hyperolius treefrog is an unknown, possibly new species found in flooded reeds in Katanga, Democratic Republic of the Congo. While calling for mates, these frogs emit volatile compounds from their vocal sacs, perhaps working like cologne to attract females. Photo: Eli Greenbaum

This colorful Hyperolius treefrog is an unknown, possibly new species found in flooded reeds in Katanga, Democratic Republic of the Congo. While calling for mates, these frogs emit volatile compounds from their vocal sacs, perhaps working like cologne to attract females. Photo: Eli Greenbaum

Greenbaum said he is excited about sharing his research findings and experiences in Africa with audiences through this exhibit.

“Because it is rarely covered in the news, many people are unfamiliar with the Congo and its many surprising ties with the United States, and I am hopeful that visitors will be awestruck by the African country’s history, cultures, scenic beauty and biodiversity,” he said. “I will also strive to instill a sense of pride about the unique resources and research at our University.”

For more information contact: Maribel Villalva, 915-747-6669

Opening Reception – Make Plans
What: Opening reception for the exhibit “Emerald Abyss: Nine Years of Research in the Congo.”
When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11. Remarks at 6 p.m.
Exhibit Dates: The exhibit will be on display through April 30.
Where: Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens at UTEP, corner of University Avenue and Wiggins Road.

The Great Lakes Bush Viper (Atheris nitschei) is a common, supposedly deadly, viper of the Albertine Rift Mountains of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda, Africa. Photo: Eli Greenbaum

The Great Lakes Bush Viper (Atheris nitschei) is a common, supposedly deadly, viper of the Albertine Rift Mountains of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda, Africa. Photo: Eli Greenbaum

Museum Hours: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Information: 915-747-5565 or museum.utep.edu.

SAVE THE DATES  (All events are free and open to the public)
·       Saturday, Feb. 13, 2 to 4 p.m. – “Frogs We Have Known,” a fun afternoon of stories, art and performances featuring famous frogs.
·       Thursday, March 17, 5:30 p.m. – UTEP’s Eli Greenbaum, Ph.D., presents the lecture “Emerald Abyss: Nine Years of Research in the Congo.”
·       Saturday, April 16, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – “Frog Fiesta,” featuring jumping contests, games, “Frogs of the Desert” lecture with Rick LoBello, El Paso Zoo Education Curator.
·       Saturday, April 30, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – “Save the Frogs Day,” featuring a drumming event with drums from around the world, film screenings and coloring activities.  Exhibit Closes.

** The exhibit is possible, thanks to the support from the Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens; The University of Texas at El Paso; the National Geographic Society; the National Science Foundation; Villanova University; the Percy Sladen Memorial Fund; Kurt Reed, M.D.; IUCN/SSC Amphibian Specialist Group; and UTEP’s University Research Institute.

    MEDIA INQUIRIES

    The UTEP Public Information Office can assist media personnel with interview requests to speak with University administrators, faculty expert sources, or students; or to arrange campus visits for photography / videography shoots.

    Call or email one of our media contacts with your name, outlet, deadline, and story idea or request to start an inquiry.

    Elizabeth Ashby
    Public Information Officer
    Phone: 915.747.5526
    E-mail: news@utep.edu