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Mariana Di Giacomo

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Conservation Fellow
Washington, DC
Mariana Di Giacomo is a paleontologist with special interest in fossil preservation. She graduated in 2012 with a Master in Zoology from the PEDECIBA at Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay. In 2006 and 2007 she received tutoring from fossil preparators at the Museo de la Plata, La Plata, Argentina and so began her interest in conservation of fossil bone. She has worked both as a paleontologist and as a teacher since the early beginnings of her career. After two fruitful excavations at Arroyo del Vizcaíno, Sauce, Uruguay, in 2011 and 2012 she became the curator and manager of the collection which now has over 1000 specimens. Mariana has been carrying out research at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History since 2014, when she began her PhD studies at the University of Delaware. Some of her study has focused on surface modifications in the color of vertebrate fossils exposed to museum lighting for prolonged periods of time, as well as relative humidity and temperature fluctuations and how these affect the long-term conservation of fossilized bone. In addition, Mariana has also been studying the different adhesives and consolidants that have been applied to fossilized specimens. Mariana was selected as a DelPHI Summer Fellow (2015) through the Center for Material Culture Studies at the University of Delaware. She was also awarded the 2015 Emily Schuetz Striker annual award in preventive conservation which allowed her to travel to four natural history institutions to learn about their collections and preventive conservation efforts. Mariana passed to candidacy in June 2016, and is now working on her dissertation. Mariana is the 2016 recipient of UD's Graduate University Fellow Award. Mariana is currently the Smithsonian Institution Conservation fellow doing research in both fossilized specimens and the museum's microscope slide collection.