Becoming Visible - Adania Flemming

The University of Florida's Florida Museum of Natural History celebrated 100 years of inspiring people to care about life on Earth in 2017. To mark the closing of an era and the beginning of a new century, UF News profiled three Florida Museum women who are shaping the research institution's future and breaking the cycle of stereotypes and misconceptions in the world of science. With modern tools like social media and podcasts, they continue the work of past and current museum women, who have fought for equality in their fields and for the visibility of women in science.

Becoming Visible – Adania Flemming

Adania Flemming pulled rubber waders on over her clothes, grabbed a net and stepped into the murky creek, stained with tree resin. She was looking for the tiny swamp darter — a quick, feisty fish that’s difficult to spot, with its blotches that blend with the tea-colored waters.

While the life history of the swamp darter’s Northeast populations has been widely studied, its Southeastern populations are largely missing from scientific literature. By investigating the darter’s life history in a tiny Florida creek, Flemming, a collections technician at the Florida Museum, said her research could lead to better management and conservation laws for these Southern populations and other species with similar geographic distributions.

As a novice ichthyologist, the project affords Flemming, a graduate student in the biology department of UF’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a great opportunity to learn about a fish in its entirety, she said.