Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Amanda Millhouse

Deputy Collections Manager, Vertebrate Paleontology

Amanda manages the Vertebrate Paleontology collections in the Department of Paleobiology. One of her primary goals is to improve vertebrate data management practices internally in order to increase data accessibility to external researchers and other stakeholders. She has revised how vertebrates are cataloged in the collections database and continues to develop new standards to improve data mobility. Through research on past exhibits and various specimens, Amanda gained an in depth understanding of the history of data management within the vertebrate paleontology collections and enjoys the thrill of resolving decades old issues, especially ones previously deemed too complicated to manage. She created the first collection maps using ArcGIS software in the department and has had leading roles in collections space planning and reorganization projects. Since much of her time is now spent in spreadsheets, databases, and emails, she appreciates the time she gets to spend in the collections with the specimens even more.

Department / Division
  • MA Museum Studies, University of Kansas, 2011
  • MS Geology, Northern Arizona University, 2009
  • BA Geology, Albion College, 2007
Additional Resources

The collections database with information on our vertebrate fossils is searchable online and can be accessed at

For more information about our vertebrate fossil collections, including how to arrange a research visit, please go to,

  • Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections
  • Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Research Interests

Amanda’s research interests mostly revolve around collections management best practices and procedures. Since 2013, she has regularly presented updates to her work at annual conferences such as the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections and the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and is active in the paleontology collections community.

While she covers all vertebrate groups, Amanda has previously studied turtles, rhinos, late Paleozoic tetrapods, and vertebrate trackways, so those taxa might be favorited a bit more over the others.

Journal Article