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May 29, 2013

Friday 31 of May 11:00
Sir Neil Chalmers seminar room, Darwin Centre LG16 (below Attenborough studio)


Can measuring glumes help conservation policy in Madagascar?


Maria Vorontsova
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew


Lemurs and rainforests? 75% of Madagascar land area is grassland. Received conservation policy prioritises protecting the remnant forest patches, but recent data suggests at least some of the grasslands are a natural vegetation type and not a degraded wasteland as traditionally assumed. Historic lack of attention to grasslands means that grasses are ignored and routinely left out of vegetation surveys. The current state of alpha taxonomy is such that assessments of diversity and endemicity are not possible. This talk will describe Maria’s work towards assessing the Poaceae diversity of Madagascar and building local taxonomic capacity. I promise many pictures of grasses.



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Collection Management Seminar

Posted by C Lowry May 29, 2013

CSIP (Collections Storage Infrastructure Programme)

1) Update on the current collections storage studies
2) Environmental Standards - where do you they come from and how are we implementing them?


Thursday 30th May, 2013, 2.30pm-4.00pm


Flett Lecture Theatre, NHM, South Kensington


Who? Speakers:
Ben Atkinson – CSIP Project Manager
Chris Collins – Head of Conservation
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 5BD.


What’s it about?
The Collection Storage Infrastructure Programme has been undertaking an estate wide study on the Museum’s collection conditions and future steps to improve them. The first part of this session will provide an update on some of the results from the first wave of the studies, and key questions we need to ask ourselves for the next steps.

The second part of the seminar will be focusing on the specific CSIP parameters for environmental control. The CSIP standards were put in place after review by a cross museum team of collection management and conservation staff. The standards outline the parameters for environmental control in storage and display spaces where collections are held. The standards cover most museum collections and are now being used to guideline the environmental conditions to be established in new CSIP projects and a future Earth Sciences building.

The standards are different to new guidelines being established under PAS 198 and by the National Museum’s Directors Conference (NMDC).  The talk will outline where the standards come from, why they have been defined in the way they have, the differences between these and other standards being put in place and how they should be used for Natural History Collections. The talk will also review how they related to the museums sustainability and energy policies.

Who should come?
The seminar is open to all members of the Museum who are interested in getting involved, learning more about the future of CSIP and the recovery of the collections in a disaster situation. We also welcome colleagues from other institutions who would find the seminar of interest. There is no booking fee and only large parties need to notify the organiser for catering purposes.

Science Group: All senior departmental managers & collection management staff.
Public Engagement Group:  Any staff who work with and use collections or manage staff who work with collections.


Tea and coffee will be available in the lobby area after the talk.


Suggestions for seminar speakers are always most welcome.
Please contact the organiser Clare Valentine (




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