NatSCA Digital Digest

Welcome to the weekly digest of posts from around the web with relevance to natural science collections. We hope you find this useful and if you have any articles that you feel would be of interest, please contact us at

1. Blog: Personal Space in Patagonian Cormorants

Chicago Professor Jerry Coyne’s blog Why Evolution is True this week contains a great example of modern technology, in this case drones, being used to observe the natural world. I wonder if drone footage will be mentioned as an example of ‘modern media’ at the NatSCA conference. I digress: The nesting sites are quite magnificent and reminiscent of frogspawn from a distance.


In Jerry Coyne’s own words:

From Grind TV we have lovely video and photographs of 5300 pairs of Imperial Cormorants (Phalacrocorax atriceps, also known as “Imperial Shags”) nesting en masse in Patagonia.  The nests cover an area of 2000 m², which is less than half the area of an American football field.

Follow the Link to see.

2. Event: Strange Creatures: the Art of Unknown Animals

Where: The Grant Museum of Zoology

Date: 16th March – 27th June

Open to: all

Admission: Free


From the Grant Museum website:

When new regions are explored and the animals in them discovered, how does the wider world get to experience these species? From the earliest days of exploration, art has been essential in representing creatures that are alien to people at home.

The Strange Creatures exhibition will explore the world of animal representations, featuring the painting of a kangaroo by George Stubbs which was recently saved for the nation. It was painted following Captain Cook’s first “Voyage of Discovery” and is Europe’s first image of an Australian animal.

Click here to find out more.

3. Job: Collections Manager (Life Collections)

Organisation: Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Salary: Grade 7: £30,434 – £37,394 with a discretionary range to £40,847

Duration: Full-time, permanent

Location: Oxford, UK

Closing date: 10th April 2015


Oxford University Museum of Natural History houses the University’s internationally important geological and zoological collections, which are used for research, teaching, and public engagement in science. It is seeking to appoint a new Collections Manager for the Life Collections.

The Life Collections comprise six million specimens, of which around 30,000 are zoological type specimens, and there are currently 10 staff with collection management responsibilities in this area. The collections have particular strengths in insects, crustaceans and vertebrates. The Collections Manager will work across all areas of Life Collections, but the role will have particular emphasis on the vertebrate and/or malacology collections. The successful applicant will be responsible for documentation, imaging, databases and conservation, and will facilitate research visits and loans. They will also be part of the teams developing new exhibitions and displays, and will participate fully in the museum’s outreach and public engagement programme. It is expected that the successful applicant will engage in field collecting and some collections-based research.

Click here for more details and to apply


On a different note, our very own Emma-Louise Nicholls is going to be doing the Richmond half-marathon next week. She is raising money for Save the Rhino – a cause dear to all our hearts. If you would like to donate, here’s how.


Compiled by Samuel Barnett, NatSCA Blog Editor

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