On most days Mark O’Brien, insect division collection manager at the U-M Museum of Zoology, is found sorting dead insects into eight-foot-tall specimen cabinets that fill several rooms in the Ruthven Museums Building.

“We’re maybe one of the best kept secrets on campus because we’re not really known for having a program in entomology or insect systematics, but we have great professors who work in that area,” says O’Brien, who manages 3.5 million to 5 million specimens.

With the large collection, O’Brien predominantly works to organize and label the various insects acquired between 1900 and the present, as well as to make the collection accessible to various researchers.

Read the full Staff Spotlight in the Sept. 24, 2012 University Record

See O'Brien's flickr photostream

Photo credit: Austin Thomason, Michigan Photography.