NatSCA Digital Digest

Greater one horned rhino (© E-L Nicholls)

Greater one horned rhino (© E-L Nicholls)


Our very own Paolo Viscardi has moved to the inner belly of London to join the team at the Grant Museum of Zoology as their fourteenth Curator. This shift will at some point inevitably create a faunal interchange of curators amongst the natural sciences collections of the world, so keep your ears to the ground future Deputy Keepers of Natural History


Last weekend was the Festival of Geology, always a great weekend full of fossils, rocks and geeky conversations. If anyone who went would like to write a short piece for the NatSCA blog, do get in touch via our normal email address We do love a good write up!


If you live near or are visiting Gloucester anytime this month, the previously mentioned 2015 British Wildlife Photography Awards exhibition has been extended until the 29th November. Located at the Nature in Art collection.

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As you probably all know, it was the Museums Association Conference and Exhibition last week. I know a few people who attended this year and have heard great things, so if you missed it too and would like to view some highlights, check out the MA’s archive of the event here.

Despite Mark Carnall having left the Grant Museum of Zoology at UCL for the heavier-on-dinosaurs but lighter-on-quaggas Oxford University Museum of Natural History, his ever entertaining blog series Underwhelming Fossil Fish of the Month continues. Well, thank goodness for that. If you’ve not had the delight before, this blog is a shining example of how to use the unused-for-good-reason areas of your collections.

NatSCA Digital Digest

Gorilla skull on a black background

Jobs and Placements

Life Collections Conservator (maternity cover) – Oxford University Museum of Natural History. A great opportunity to join the Oxford team. Applications close 21 October 2015.

Collections Administrator and Access Coordinator – Science Museum, London. A 6 month, fixed-term post. Applocations close 27 October 2015.

Two placement positions are available at Leeds Museums: with their Zoology collections, and on a Geoblitz Project. Applications for both close 31 October 2015.

As always, more opportunities are advertised on our Jobs Page.


The Geologists’ Association’s Festival of Geology is on 7 November, at UCL, London. The festival includes talks, walks, stalls, displays, and a photography competition. Entry is free!

On 27 November, there is a free one-day conference at the Natural History Museum (NHM), London, entitled ‘Biotic Response to Environmental Change: Insights from Natural History Collections‘. Booking is via Eventbrite, where you can also see the full schedule of talks.

Save the date! The Geological Curators’ Group’s AGM is coming up on 1 – 2 December at NHM, London. This year the theme is ‘Not just rocks in the cupboard: communicating geoscience through collections‘. Further details have yet to be announced.

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Controversy over the collection (and non-collection) of specimens seems to have reigned lately…

The first male moustached kingfisher to be observed was found by a research team from the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), and a single specimen was euthanised and collected. Following a negative reaction in the press, the lead researcher wrote an article defending the decision to collect this scientifically important specimen.

A new species of South African bee fly was described, solely on the basis of photographic evidence, with no physical type specimens preserved for study and comparison.