Dr. Margo Green is an ethnopharmacologist and geneticist and a former employee of the New York Museum of Natural History. She first appeared in Relic as a graduate student at the museum working under Dr. Whitney Frock. Margo, along with Frock, her coworker Greg Kawakita, and journalist Bill Smithback were instrumental in solving the Museum Beast Murders.
Margo is "shortish" and slender, with glossy, mousy, shoulder-length light brown hair and green eyes. As a graduate student, she preferred jeans and baggy L.L.Bean shirts. In later appearances, she is much more confident in demeanor and dress.
Margo's family is from Boston and is apparently well-to-do. She was working on her doctoral dissertation (on the classification of medicinal plants in primitive societies) prior to the events of Relic, but progress was slow and she was considering leaving academia and going to work for her father's company.
Margo's father called her Midge and wondered why she chose to work at the museum, "cooped up with all those dead...things in jars." He died immediately prior to the Museum Beast Murders and she spent a week attending his funeral and dealing with his affairs, much to her dismay as her dissertation was behind schedule.
After her father's death, Margo's father's company was facing liquidation unless another family member were willing to take it over. Margo's mother pressured her to leave academia, come home and run the company. At the time, Margo lived in an apartment on upper Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan, across from a liquor store.
She shows many character traits all throughout the book.
The Cabinet of Curiosities
Dance of Death
Six years after the events of Reliquary, Margo returned to work for the museum yet again, this time as the editor-in-chief of museum's historic journal Museology.
Following a complete recovery from her encounter with Diogenes Pendergast, Margo began working for a nonprofit medical foundation called the Pearson Institute as an ethnopharmacologist, evaluating indigenous botanical remedies for their drug potential. Her research made her a regular visitor to the museum, which was home to an extensive ethnobotanical collection vital to her work.
Eventually, Margo's renewed presence at the museum led Lt. Vincent D'Agosta to enlist her help in an investigation into the murder of a museum employee, Vic Marsala, who happened to be one-time colleague of hers in the museum's Anthropology Department. D'Agosta persuaded Margo to take a look at a skeleton from the museum's anthropology collection that Marsala had examined just prior to his death, explaining that Marsala had been working with a visiting scientist who turned out to have fake credentials.
Upon examination of the skeleton, Dr. Green quickly determined that the bones did not match the description in the museum's records. Rather than a 35-year-old Hottentot male, the skeleton was identified as the long-missing wife of the former osteological curator who originally catalogued the bones in the late 19th century.
In Other Media
- In the film adaption of Relic, Margo Green is portrayed by actress Penelope Ann Miller. This movie portrayal is more action-oriented than Margo's portrayal in the book, but Miller's performance retains Margo's pluckiness.