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Microscopy and Imaging at the NHM in the 21st Century – how state of the art instrumentation can be used to image and analyse irreplaceable Natural History and Cultural Heritage specimens.


Thursday 23rd January 2014, 2.30pm-4.00pm


Flett Lecture Theatre, NHM, South Kensington


Who? Speaker: 
Alex Ball, EM Unit manager, Science Facilities NHM.


What’s it about?
Microscopy and Imaging is a rapidly evolving discipline and the Museum’s Imaging and Analysis Centre is very much at the forefront of the practical technology for Natural Sciences and Cultural Heritage research. This talk is an attempt to give you both a roundup of the facilities available at the NHM and also to demonstrate some of the ways they have been used at the Museum and to compare them to either “state of the art” applications, or to some of the more eye-catching, media friendly research that has been performed recently.
As a researcher with a background in microscopy, 3D reconstruction and analysis and now over 20 years’ practical experience in electron microscopy applications, I travel regularly to international microscopy conferences and talk frequently with lab managers from other institutions. Staff at the Museum are in a privileged position; not only do they have access to some of the world’s finest natural history collections and libraries, but this is backed up by Science Facilities that are literally world class and free at the point of use (at least for microscopy and analysis). I would like to use this talk to inspire our users to be inventive, to look beyond what is current in their own fields and try to see what might be applied from other fields to their own research.


Who should come?
The seminar is open to all interested members of the museum, particularly


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.


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.

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 (




For additional details on attending this or other seminars see

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