Alice Pearson
She Shelves these Shells from the Seashore: Natural History, Museum Science, & the Mathematics of Shells
Mentor: Dr. Marjorie Wonham
What can we learn from studying shells? Shell collections are valuable tools for science and experiential learning, but careful organization is key for both accessibility and long-term maintenance. I created an index and catalogued the 979 shells that constitute Dr. Marjorie Wonham’s teaching collection. While developing this catalogue I took a dive into mathematical shell modeling, focusing on David M Raup’s 4-parameter model, which can be used to describe most shell forms. By simplifying complex and diverse shell forms, mathematical modeling can help us understand climate change’s impact on shelled organisms and inform our engineering practices in biomimetic constructions.

Research for this project was sponsored by a Student Project Grant awarded by the Research, Scholarship and Works Committee of Quest University Canada.

WordPress Image Lightbox Plugin