Curator / Animal Care Sciences
Alan Peters is the Curator of Invertebrates at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. His most recent work has been on the chemical and structural analysis of Chambered nautilus shells in conjunction with Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute and University of Georgia. Working with corals has been a 25 year long term interest and is now focused on supporting colleague Mike Henley’s Caribbean coral reproductive research and conservation education programs. Other long term studies have been focused on giant Pacific octopus enrichment and behavior, and reproduction in Nephila spiders. On-going research is utilizing citizen science data of butterfly populations as they relate to urban development with colleagues Bill McShea and Tamie DeWitt; and a newly developing pollination citizen science project by colleague Donna Stockton focused on native bees. Alan is active in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) Invertebrate Taxon Advisory Groups (TAGs). He is on the steering committee of the Aquatic Invertebrate TAG (AITAG). He is the primary contact for Terrestrial Invertebrate TAG’s (TITAG) Safety Web for the Arthropod Reproduction and Management (SWARM) project that is focused on promoting the maintenance of sustainable populations for invertebrates—in this case Nephila spiders. Alan received a Bachelor of Science from University of North Carolina and a Master of Arts in Museum Education from George Washington University.
Peters, Alan and Powell, David M. Preliminary Results of Giant Pacific Octopus Behavior Study on Enrichment, Drum and Croaker, 36 (4-8) 000. 2005.