UNE’s Biddeford Library Art Gallery presents artistic representations of scientific research in 'The Dolphin Brain' exhibit

Brain of bottlenose dolphin in situ showing planes of serial section used. From: The Anatomy of the Brain of the Bottlenose Dolp
Brain of bottlenose dolphin in situ showing planes of serial section used. From: The Anatomy of the Brain of the Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncates). Rhinic Lobe (Rhinencephalon): The Archicortex. Jacobs, M.S., McFarland, W.L. and Morgane, P.J. Brain Research Bulletin, Vol. 4, Supplement, 1979

The University of New England’s Biddeford Campus Ketchum Library Art Gallery is currently hosting an exhibition, titled The Dolphin Brain, which will be on display through September 26. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

The artworks in the exhibition are products of collaborations by a research team and artists to create beautiful and sophisticated didactic images that represent a large collection of scientific research on the cetacean brain undertaken by Peter J. Morgane, Ph.D. Morgane taught and researched at UNE from 1985 to 2010 and wrote dozens of scientific papers for peer-reviewed journals. His team conducted the dolphin research in the 1960s, prior to the induction of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. 

The collection upon which this exhibition is based, known as The Peter J. Morgane Research Collection on the Cetacean Brain, is a historical scientific collection that is currently held at the University of New England and is available for research through the UNE Library Services Special Collections unit. 

Much of the scientific work of the research project was derived from the voluminous collection of original histological (tissue) slides now held in the Neuroscience Laboratory of Patrick R. Hof, M.D., at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

A team of UNE students, including Ally Karriker, Abby Rusling-Flynn, and Samia Pratt, all members of the Class of 2020, worked for several years digitizing and organizing the historical and scientific materials in the collection. Pratt undertook an internship in 2019 at the Hof Neuroscience Laboratory at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, reviewing, cataloging and photographing the series of original histological slides. The work of the UNE students has enabled further research on both the collection of tissue slides and on the historical collection.

After the close of the exhibit on September 26, a digital version will be available on the University of New England Digital Repository (dune.une.edu).

UNE’s Ketchum Library Art Gallery is located on the university’s Biddeford Campus at 11 Hills Beach Road. Daily hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Learn more about the exhibit or contact Cally Gurley by email or phone (207-221-4324).

This exhibit is sponsored by David Mokler, professor emeritus of pharmacology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine, University of New England; UNE Library Services; UNE Office of Research and Scholarship; UNE Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences; UNE’s Office of the Provost; and the UNE School of Marine Programs.

Read about it in the Journal Tribune

Learn more about UNE's art galleries.