Dr Martin Munt

Martin on fieldwork image
  • Head of Palaeobiology Collections
  • Earth Sciences department
  • Department Management Team
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road



Prior to joining the Natural History Museum I worked with regional and university collections. I was drawn to this line of work by a fascination for fossils since an early age. I regard it as a privilege to work with one of the world's greatest collections. Now with over twenty years experience, I still get a great buzz out of what I do, and despite seeing some great geology and visiting incredibly rich fossil sites, I still believe the best geology in the world is the coast of the Isle of Wight and the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site of Dorset and Devon.

Employment history

2013 - present
Head of Palaeobiology Collections

June 2008 – 2013
Collection Manager Invertebrates and Plants: Natural History Museum, London.

Dec. 2007 – May 2008
Collection Manager Invertebrates B Team: Natural History Museum, London.

June 2000 – Nov 2007
Curator of Geology: Museum of Isle of Wight Geology/Dinosaur Isle Museum, Isle of Wight Council.

April 1996 – May 2000
Assistant Curator of Geology: Museum of Isle of Wight Geology, Isle of Wight Council.

Jan. 1990 – March 1996
Geological Technician: University of Portsmouth.

Dec. 1987 - Dec. 1989

Nov.1984 – Nov 1987
Geology Project Leader: Museum of Isle of Wight Geology, Isle of Wight County Council.


BA (Hon's) (Portsmouth), Geography.

Diploma In Museum Studies, University of Leicester.

Ph D Paleogene Cerithioidean Gastropods, University of Portsmouth.

Professional Roles

Membership of Learned Societies

  • Palaeontographical Society
  • Palaeontological Association
  • Geologists' Association
  • Tertiary Research Group


  • Chair of the Marsh Awards Committee.
  • Committee member of the Palaeontographical Society



I am Collections Manager of the Invertebrate and Plant collections in the Palaeontology Department, my role is to manage the team of curators who provide the daily care for and documentation of those collections. My principal interest is with the molluscan collection, however, with specimens covering the vast diversity including insects, trilobites, corals, sea urchins, cycads and sponges, the collections never cease to provide me with new avenues of interest.

Special projects

The Mantell Project

Gideon Mantell (1790-1852) is perhaps one of the most celebrated of British Palaeontologists, famous for his discoveries of dinosaurs in southern England, the museum is the principal repository of his collections. The Palaeontology Department is running a project aimed at priority input of data associated with Mantell collections into the documentation system.

Off-site Store

As part of my role I manage our off-site storage facility, where the museum houses many of our largest objects not currently displayed. We also hold reserve collections such as duplicates and bulk samples at the this store.

Outreach projects

I lead the department's contributions to various events such as the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival and Scarborough Fossil Festival. I have great belief in the role of the amateur in Palaeontology and use my role in these events to remain in touch with local collectors and geologists.



My research interests are in marginal marine and freshwater mollusc faunas of the Boreal Province from the Late Jurassic to Paleogene. 

Paleogene Cerithioidean gastropods

Following my Ph D I am working on a Palaeontographical Society Monograph reviewing Cerithioidean gastropods of the Hampshire Basin. The Cerithioidea are a diverse group of gastropods occupying a wide range of habitats. Fossil forms from the Solent Group probably record brackish and freshwater settings. The main families represented are the Melanopsidae (see picture), Thiaridae, Batillaridae and the Potamididae. Within the Solent Group the Potamididae are the most obvious, however, representatives of the Thiaridae occur in super abundance.

Melanopsis fusiformis image

Melanopsis fusiformis from the Solent Group (Paleogene) of the Isle of Wight.

Late Jurassic - Early Cretaceous non-marine Mollusca of the Boreal Province

A collaboration with Graciela Delvene of the Instituto Geológico y Minero de España, Madrid. Our strands of research include the Early Cretaceous bivalve fauna of Europe and the Late Jurassic marginal marine of Asturias in northern Spain. Our collaborative work has led to the first discoveries of Trigoniodoidean bivalves from Spain, indicating that these essential Asiatic bivalves are more widespread than previously thought.

Geological Site Conservation

I have worked with Natural England both locally and nationally to promote the conservation of geological sites, writing management plans and site assessments for sites on the Isle of Wight and adjacent mainland.



Delvene, G., Munt, M.C. Royo.-Torres, R., Cobos, A & Alcala, L. Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous freshwater bivalves from Turiasaurus riodevensis bearing strata of Teruel (Spain). Spanish Journal of Palaeontology, 28, 161-172.

Araujo, R., Delvene, G. & Munt, M.C. Presence of organic layers in shells of fossil and recent Unionoida (Bivalvia) and their implications. Journal of Molluscan Studies. 80, 74-83.


Munt, M.C. The Explosion of life- the Burgess Shale. In The Munich Show Theme Book, 124-125.

Munt, M.C. Lyme Regis. In The Munich Show Theme Book, 134-136.


Munt, M.C. & Delvene, G. Review of the Cretaceous non-marine Mollusca and their Stratigraphical distribution in Europe. Journal of Stratigraphy, 36, 314-323.


Delvene, G., Munt, M.C. & Sender, L.M. Iberanaia iberica: The first record of the Trigonioidoidea Bivalvia: Unionoida from the Lower Cretaceous of Teruel, Spain. Cretaceous Research. 32, 391-396.

Munt, M.C., Delvene, G & Sha, J.G. Review of the Cretaceous non-marine mollusks and their stratigraphical distribution in Europe.  Abstracts of the Palaeontological association annual Conference, Plymouth. p.68.

Delvene, G. & Munt, M.C. New Trigonioidoidea (Bivalvia: Unionoida) from the Early Cretaceous of Spain. Palaeontology, 54 (3): 631-638.

Munt, M.C., Radley, J.D. & Barker, M.J. Mollusca In BATTEN, D. Field Guide to English Wealden Fossils. The Palaeontological Association.


Todd, J.A & Munt, M.C. Gastropoda . IN Fossils of the Lower Lias of the Dorset Coast. Field Guides to Fossils. The Palaeontological Association.

Munt, M.C. & Delvene, G. Palaeobiogeography of the trigonioidids of Europe. In Alister, R & Harper, D. Programme & Abstracts of the Third International Palaeontological Congress, London, 2010. Imperial College & Natural History Museum, London. P.289.

Delvene, G., Munt, M., Royo-Torres, R., Cobos, A. & Alcalá, L. Non-marine bivalves from the dinosaur-bearing strata of Riodeva (Teruel).Abstracts V Congress Jurassic of Spain.


Delvene, G & Munt, M. Trigonioidoidea (Unionoida) from the Lower Cretaceous of Spain. In Hart, M. (ed.) 8th International Symposium on the Cretaceous System. Abstract Volume. 61-62. E

Delvene, G., Munt, M. & Sender, L.M. First record of Trigonioidoidea from the Lower Cretaceous of Spain. In Buscalloni, A.D & Martinez, M.F. (ed.) 10th International Symposium on Mesozoic Terrestrial Ecosystems and biota Abstract Volume. 131-132. E

Munt, M.C. Evolution Rocks! – The Lyme Regis Fossil Festival 2009. The Palaeontological Association Newsletter, 72, 35-37. E


Munt, M.C. History of geological conservation on the Isle of Wight. In Bureck, C.V. & & Prosser, C.D. The History of Geoconservation. Geological Society of London Special Publication. 300.173-179.

Munt, M., Hooker, J. & Brewer, P. 2009. “That Lower Jaw” and the contribution of William Darwin Fox to the discovery of Eocene mammals from the Isle of Wight.  Proceedings of the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society. 24. 37-41. C


Munt, M.C. Recent additions to the Isle of Wight Geological Collection. Proceedings of the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society. 22, 158-160.


Munt, M.C. The Geology of the Isle of Wight IN Brinton, R. The Story of the Isle of Wight. Dovecot Press.

Munt, M.C., Barker, M.J. & Radley, J. Wealden (non-marine: Lower Cretaceous) molluscs from southern England: faunas, palaebiogeography and palaeoenvironments. 9th International Symposium Mesozoic Terrestrial Ecosystems and Biota. Abstracts and Proceedings Volume.105-109


Munt, M.C. Fossil collecting on the Isle of Wight (southern England) - past, present and  future. IN A Future for Fossils. 51-53.

Munt,M.C. A guide to Dinosaur Isle. Isle of Wight Council. 24pp.

Munt,M.C. Dinosaur Isle. Magazine of the Geologists’ Association. 1: 16.


M.J. Barker& Munt, M.C.  Gastropoda . IN Fossils of the Penarth Group. Field Guides to Fossils. The Palaeontological Association.

Munt, M.C. & M.J. Barker. Eccentric gastropod shell growth induced by barnacle bioimmuration. Abstracts of the 43 Annual Meeting of the Palaeontolgical Association. p.28.


Radley, J, Munt, M.C. & Barker, M.J.Bivalve trace fossils (Lockeia) from the Barnes High Sandstone (Wealden Group, Lower Cretaceous) of the Wessex Sub-basin, southern England. Cretaceous Research. 19: 505 - 509.

Munt, M.C. Chines as gateways to geology. IN Collier, R.  Island Chines. Isle of Wight Council.


Barker, M.J., Munt, M.C. & Radley, J.The first recorded trigonioidoidean bivalve from Europe.;Palaeontology. 40: 955 - 963.


Munt, M. & Barker, M.J. Some micromorphic gastropods from the Corbula beds Cranmore Member (Solent Group, Early Oligocene) of the Isle of Wight, southern England. TertiaryResearch.  17: 27 - 32.


Munt, M., Barker, M.J. & Daley, B.Recent borehole data from the Hamstead Member (Bouldnor Formation, Early Oligocene) at Cowes, Isle of Wight. Tertiary Research. 15: 49-51.


Munt, M. & Barker, M.J. Cerithioidean gastropods from the Solent Group (Palaeogene) as palaeosalinity indices. Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of the Palaeontological Association, Leeds, 1993. Palaeontology Newsletter.14.


Barker, M.J. & Munt, M. Nippononaia sp nov. a new freshwater bivalve from the Wessex Formation of the Isle of Wight. Report of Activities No.15, Department of Geology University of Portsmouth. 44-45.


Munt, M., Hullman, G. & Street, A. Isle of Wight Geology Field Guide: South-West Coast. Newport: Isle of Wight County Council. 14pp.


Munt, M., Hullman, G. & Street, A.Isle of Wight Geology Field Guide: Shanklin. Newport: Isle of Wight County Council. 10pp.


Munt, M., Hullman, G. & Street, A.Isle of Wight Geology Field Guide: Culver Cliff. Newport: Isle of Wight County Council. 16pp.


Munt, M., Hullman, G. & Street, A. Isle of Wight Geology Field Guide: Whitecliff Bay. Newport: Isle of Wight County Council. 20pp.


Munt, M. & Burke, A. The Pleistocene geology and faunas at Newtown, Isle of Wight. Proceedings of the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society, 8: 7-14.


Munt, M. The chronology of the late Pleistocene terrace gravels in the Warsash district of Hampshire. South Hampshire Geographer, 16: 37-44.