Anyone who has to deal with fluid collections, without the support of a natural history conservator, probably has nightmares about cracked jar lids and desiccated specimens. But would you sleep more easily if I told you that it’s possible to get a transformation like this using a straightforward and inexpensive method?
Here’s my account of how I resurrected this dehydrated specimen using stuff you probably have sitting in your museum cupboards or that you can buy for less than £20. It’s worth noting that the technique will not always work and if you plan to use it on a specimen that may have useful DNA to contribute, you should take a sample before rehydrating, since it is likely to reduce the quantity and quality of DNA you can extract.
So you’ve got a lovely collection, with lots of lovely potential, you yourself have loads of lovely ideas for all the lovely things you could do with it but you have no money. It’s a pretty common situation in museums but there are ways to fund your collections and the rewards for doing so are BIG.
Welcome to the January edition of Digital Digest and a Happy New Year to you all.
I am dedicating this first Digital Digest to conferences, as calls for papers seem to be coming thick and fast. There are some fab events this year so get planning, submitting and registering.
NatSCA Conference & AGM2020 .
Changing the World: Environmental Breakdown, Decolonisation and Natural Science collections
Thursday 14th & Friday 15th May 2020. National Museum Wales, Cardiff.
The #NatSCA2020 conference invites proposals for presentations exploring the role of natural science collections in addressing or engaging with ‘big issue’ challenges, both in the environment and in society. For example:
Have you been involved in a research project using natural science collections to inform decision/policy makers on the implications of climate change, biodiversity loss or biosecurity threats?
Are you developing plans to reconceptualise and decolonise your collections?
We would like to hear from anyone and everyone who uses natural science collections to interact with important global topics.
Deadline for submission: 7th February. Click here for more info about how to submit your abstract.
I only recently joined the Committee but will be taking over the organisation of training courses from Clare Brown in the New Year. NatSCA offers really interesting and relevant courses for people working in this sector and I would welcome any ideas of courses you would like to see, or repeats of courses you missed. I attended a couple of these recently, including by far the smelliest day I have ever spent, at the skeleton preparation course at Fort Cumberland in Portsmouth.
Job title and Institution
Curator/Director of the Cole Museum of Zoology at the University of Reading/Professor of Invertebrate Zoology.
Working as a University academic means that you have lots of hats. My hats include teaching undergraduate zoology, supervising PhD and undergraduate student research and no end of random teaching leadership roles. These roles are all very interesting but by far the best part of my working week is spent in the Cole Museum where I have been the curator for the past 15 years.
With the UK in the EU, Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) listed species in Annexes B to D can be freely traded and moved within the EU. The main change, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, will be that you will need CITES permits to move CITES good between the UK and the EU for species listed in Annexes B to D.