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171 Posts authored by: C Lowry

Collection Management Seminar As part of the Annual NHM Integrated Pest Management Awareness Day:


Tuesday 31st May 2011, 2.30pm-4.00pm Flett Lecture Theatre


by Armando Mendez, IPM Coordinator and Clare Valentine, Head of Collections for Zoology (and IPM Group Rep.), Natural History Museum, London.

Pests are widely recognised as one of the major risks to museum collections, yet many of the chemical methods which have been successfully used in the past to control them are now known to be hazards in their own right and can no longer be used. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) looks instead at the whole organisation of a museum, its staff, geography, building fabric, and how appropriate training and planning can reduce the pest risk.  Staff at the NHM have made IPM an integral part of their working lives through our policies and procedures. This seminar will review the latest initiatives the IPM Group has implemented and the plans for our new Quarantine facility which is being built this year will be highlighted.

Colleagues from other institutions welcome. For more information and contact details see


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


Are we in the middle of a 6th mass extinction event or losing 100 species a day?
An entomology departmental seminar

2 June 2011

11:30 - 12:30

Neil Chalmers Seminar Room, DC2

Professor Nigel E. Stork
Head of Department of Resource Management and Geography,
Melbourne School of Land and Environment,
Melbourne University

Nigel Stork worked in the Entomology Department of the Museum from 1980 to 1995 before taking on the role of managing Australia's national research centre on tropical forest management. His experiences from working in the Museum and elsewhere have lead him to question some of the conclusions that have been made about the current state of biodiversity. Biologists have been predicting species losses of 100 a day for more than 30 years and many suggest that we are in the midst of a 6th mass extinction event. In this talk Prof Stork reviews just how much (or rather how little) we know about the size of global diversity and about species extinction rates. Since 'to the nearest approximation all species are insects' he will focus some of his attention on understanding invertebrate diversity and particularly that in tropical forests.




For further information see


Palaeontology Seminar


Thursday 12th May
Neil Chalmers Seminar Room, DC2, 16:00

Eocene mammals from Abbey Wood: evidence of tropical London?

By: Jerry Hooker Department of Palaeontology, NHM

With a tally of 46 species after 40 years of major excavation, the Blackheath Formation of Abbey Wood, London Borough of Bexley, has yielded the richest Early Eocene mammal fauna in the UK. New evidence for close proximity of the coast may explain the occurrence of such a diversity of land mammals in this marine deposit. A dawn horse is the most abundant species, representing the richest assemblage known from Europe and facilitating comparison with those from North America. Several species of mammal are indistinguishable from ones in the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming, and testify to limited intercontinental interchange half a million years after the major northern hemisphere Mammalian Dispersal Event at the very beginning of the Eocene. Ecological diversity analysis of the mammals indicates a broadleaved evergreen forested habitat and supports palaeobotanical evidence for paratropical-aspect forest in the Early Eocene.



For further information see


How to make a tapeworm

Posted by C Lowry May 5, 2011

How to make a tapeworm

Tuesday, 10 May 2011
Neil Chalmers Seminar Room, DC2

Pete Olson and group members will each present brief reports on the development of the model tapeworm Hymenolepis microstoma, currently being used to understand major transitions in the evolution of flatworms through comparative developmental and genomic studies.

Pete Olson – Introduction and flatworm evolution
Lucas Cunningham – Description and confocal anatomy of Hymenolepis microstoma
Magdalena Zarowiecki – Assembling the Hymenolepis genome and transcriptome
Natasha Pouchkina-Stantcheva – Hox genes, in vitro culture and functional genomics
Nick Riddiford – Wnt gene loss in flatworms and expression in Hymenolepis


See for further details


London Invasive Species Initiative conference


                                     INVASIVE NON-NATIVE SPECIES IN LONDON


4 May 2011 – Flett Lecture Theatre, Natural History Museum




9.15 – Arrival and registration/Tea and coffee
10.00 Introduction – Dave Webb (London Biodiversity Partnership chair)

Morning themes– national policy, action and research
10.15 The GB Non-native species strategy –Olaf Booy (GB Non-native species secretariat)
10.45 The Environment Agency’s approach to invasive non-native species – Trevor Renals (EA)
11.15 Plantlife’s invasive species campaign – Sophie Thomas
11.45 Research on biocontrol measures for invasive species – Dick Shaw (CABI)
12.15 – Tackling invasive species through a local action group – the Norfolk example – Mike Sutton-Croft
12.45 – Questions, general discussion
13.00 – Lunch – Bring your own

Afternoon themes – INNS priorities for London and our approach to tackling them
14.00 The London Invasive Species Initiative – Priorities for London – Val Selby/Jo Heisse
14.15 Invasive plants in London, existing and emerging issues – Mark Spencer (NHM)
14.45 Invasive molluscs – impacts and control measures – David Aldridge
15.15 – Coffee break

Case studies of existing work in London:
Invasive species research on the Brent – Chris Cockel
Tackling invasive species on the Wandle and the work of Rivers Trusts – Bella Davies (Wandle Trust)
Engaging local communities and corporate organisations in invasive species work – Thames 21
Tackling invasive non-native species on the Olympics site. – Kim Olliver – London 2012
16: 15 – General discussion and close
16.30 End



Registration required


For further details see


Maya Nut (Brosimum alicastrum): traditional rainforest food for healthy forests and families

Friday 6th May 2011, 2.00pm - 3.00pm


Neil Chalmers Lecture Theatre, Darwin Centre, NHM, South Kensington

Erika Vohman


Maya Nut (Brosimum alicastrum) is a delicious, nutritious and abundant neotropical rainforest tree from Latin America whose seed was a staple food for pre-Columbian hunter gatherers. As well as being exceptionally nutritious, providing high quality protein, calcium, iron and folate this species is drought tolerant making it resistant to changing climates and so potentially important for food security. A changing and unstable climate in the near future may result in the rural poor having to rely on this species. Maya Nut is also an excellent forage species and shows great promise for environmentally friendly cattle production. As an important food source for neotropical birds and mammals, Maya Nut is also critical for wildlife conservation. Unfortunately, throughout its range Maya Nut is threatened and local knowledge about the species is in decline.

This award-winning program rescues lost traditional knowledge about Maya Nut in Latin America and the Caribbean. We focus on women as the caretakers of the family and create leadership, educational and economic opportunities for women. Since 2001 we have trained over 15,000 women from 900 rural communities. As a result of this program more than 22 microenterprises to produce and market Maya Nut have been formed and 1,350,000 Maya Nut seedlings have been planted. In 2010 this programme was bolstered by an award from the Darwin Initiative for a collaboration with The Natural History Museum aimed at generating some of the scientific information necessary to underpin sustainable harvesting and reforestation.



Seminar organiser  ( )

See for further information.

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