Alex Muir at desk
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Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road


Employment history

1998 Polychaete Research Group, Lower Invertebrates Division, Natural History Museum. Band 5/level 2 - Polychaete Consultant for Environmental Impact Assessments, research into Annelida and Cetacea, answering enquiries, advising on curation matters.

1992 Marine Biological Services Division, NHM. HSO - Day-to-day running of National Whale Stranding Project, research and report production for commercial clients, answering enquiries, polychaete research.

1990 Curation Group, Invertebrates (2) Division, NHM. HSO - Curation, research for commercial clients, answering enquiries.

1989 Collections Group, Lower Invertebrates Division, NHM. HSO - Group leader, curation, polychaete identification.

1974 Polychaeta & Porifera Section / Annelida Section, British Museum (Natural History). ASO/SO/HSO - Polychaete research & curation.

1974 Decca Radar Ltd., Purley Way, Croydon. Accounts Clerk.


1979 M.Sc. (CNAA) Modern Taxonomy. Polytechnic of Central London/ City of London Polytechnic.

1974 B.Sc. (Wales, class 2,II) majoring in Zoology, with Geology, Chemistry and Environmental Studies as subsidiaries. University of Wales (University College, Cardiff).

Other Posts or Honoraria

2011              Eponym Stylarioides muiri Salazar-Vallejo, 2011

2010              Eponym Harmothoe muiri Salazar-Silva, 2010

1995-present Member of Nomenclatural Subcommittee. International Polychaetology Association.

International Polychaetology Association


1985-present C.Biol., M.S.B. Institute of Biology/Society of Biology.

The Society of Biology


1976-present F.L.S. Linnean Society of London.

The Linnean Society



Although most of my time is spent on identifying marine worms for environmental impact assessments, my research interests include the taxonomy, nomenclature and higher classification of polychaetous annelids and the distribution of cetaceans around the British Isles.

Current Projects

Redescribing a trichobranchine terebellid polychaete from the USA and defining trichobranchine genera. Describing new species from Thailand and writing a key to the species of the area. Redescribing species from off West Africa with distributional notes.

Validating technically unavailable but commonly used names of polychaete species derived from the unpublished works of Renier (1759-1830), with Dr. Mary E. Petersen (Scholar in Residence at the Darling Marine Center, University of Maine, Walpole, Maine, USA).

Publishing new records of polychaetes from Bangladesh, with Prof. Md. M. Maruf Hossain (Institute of Marine Sciences and Fisheries, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh).

Cataloguing the polychaete type specimens in the collections of the Natural History Museum. In connection with this project the history of the polychaete collection in the Natural History Museum has been elucidated.



Muir, A.I., Smith, B.D. and Garcia-Alonso, J., 2014. Neanthes nubila (Annelida: Polychaeta) - a review of its biogeography and breeding habits. Cahiers de Biologie Marine 55:275-280.

Muir, A.I. & Hossain, Md.M.M. 2014. The intertidal polychaete (Annelida) fauna of the Sitakunda coast (Chittagong, Bangladesh), with notes on the Capitellidae, Glyceridae, Lumbrineridae, Nephtyidae, Nereididae and Phyllodocidae of the “Northern Bay of Bengal Ecoregion”. ZooKeys 419:1-27.


Muir, A.I. & Petersen, M.E., 2013. Authorship of some polychaete (Annelida) names derived from the works of Renier and Savigny. Zootaxa 3717(3):383-388.


Muir, A.I., Pillai, G., Wehe, T. & George, D., 2012. Table 13.3 Habitats and feeding behaviour of the polychaeta of the Gulf Emirates. pp. 268-270 IN George, J.D., 2012. Reef-associated macroinvertebrates of the SE Gulf. pp. 253-308. IN Riegl, B.M. & Purkis, S. (eds.), 2012. Coral Reefs of the World. Volume 3. Coral reefs of the Gulf: adaptation to climatic extremes. Springer, Dordrecht, Heidelberg, New York, London.


Muir, A.I., 2011. A redescription of Unobranchus (Annelida: Terebellida: Trichobranchidae), with notes on the systematics of Trichobranchidae. Italian Journal of Zoology 78(S1):140-147.


Muir, A.I. & Petersen, M.E., 2010. Case 3525. Tricoelia variopedata Renier, [1804] (currently Chaetopterus variopedatus; Annelida, Polychaeta): proposed conservation of the specific name. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 67(4):279-284.


Ayari, R., Muir, A., Paterson, G., Afli, A. & Aissa, P., 2009. An updated list of polychaetous annelids from Tunisian coasts (Western Mediterranean Sea). Cahiers de Biologie Marine 50(1): 33-45.

Glasby, C.J., Timm, T., Muir, A.I. & Gil, J., 2009. Catalogue of non-marine Polychaeta (Annelida) of the world. Zootaxa 2070: 1-52.

+ 1 non-published commercial report


Muir, A.I. & Bamber, R.N., 2008. New polychaete (Annelida) records and a new species from Hong Kong: the families Polynoidae, Sigalionidae, Chrysopetalidae, Pilargiidae, Nereididae, Opheliidae, Ampharetidae and Terebellidae. Journal of Natural History 42(9-12):797-814.

Muir, A.I. & Chambers, S.J., 2008. Case 3417: Malmgrenia McIntosh, 1874 (Annelida: Polychaeta: POLYNOIDAE): proposed conservation of usage by designation of Malmgrenia andreapolis McIntosh, 1874 as the type species. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 65(1):12-16.

+ 2 non-published commercial reports


Deaville, R., Patterson, T., Baker, J., Ross, H., Simpson, V., Monies, B., Reid, B., Penrose, R., Sabin, R., Muir, A., Perkins, M., Turk, S., Cunningham, A. & Jepson, P., 2007. Trends in causes of mortality in harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) stranded in UK waters (1990-2004). European Research on Cetaceans. Proceedings of the 20th. Annual Conference, European Cetacean Society, Gdynia (Poland) 2006. Gdynia, Poland. (Abstracts for talks):60. (on CD)

+ 3 non-published commercial reports


7 non-published commercial reports


6 non-published commercial reports


4 non-published commercial reports


5 non-published commercial reports


Muir, A.I., Chimonides, P.D.J. & Spurrier, C.J.H. 2002 [Dated July 2000]. Trends in cetacean strandings on the British coastline, 1994-1999. Final Report to the Wildlife and Countryside Directorate of the former Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR), now a part of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Report Number: ECM 516/00. The Natural History Museum. 34pp.

Contributed to The National Whale Stranding Recording Scheme document on the Museum website (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/zoology/stranding).

+ 6 non-published commercial reports


Muir, A.I. 2001. Strandings of Royal Fish (Mammalia: Cetacea) in Greater London. The London Naturalist 80:99-107.

+ 7 non-published commercial reports


Davis, P. & Muir, A. 2000. Cetacea. IN Foster-Smith, J. [Ed.] The marine fauna and flora of the Cullercoats district. Marine species records for the north east coast of England. Penshaw Press, Sunderland. Volume 2:285-295.

+ 14 non-published commercial reports


Muir, A. 1999. Whales all at sea in the Channel. The Times 66617:21.

+ 7 non-published commercial reports


Chambers, S.J. & Muir, A.I. 1998 [dated 1997]. Polychaetes: British Chrysopetaloidea, Pisionoidea and Aphroditoidea. Synopses of the British Fauna (New Series) 54:vii + 202.

Chimonides, P.J. & Muir, A.I. 1998. Cetacean strandings around the British Isles 1967-1990. In: UKDMAP: An atlas of the seas around the British Isles. 3rd ed. BODC for the Natural Environment Research Council. (on CD)

Tittley, I., Spurrier, C.J.H., Chimonides, P.J., George, J.D., Moore, J.A., Evans, N.J. & Muir, A.I. 1998. Survey of chalk cave, cliff, intertidal and subtidal reef biotopes in the Thanet coast cSAC. English Nature Research Report 325: Volume 1:1-100. Volume 2: Appendices 2-7.

+ 4 non-published commercial reports


4 non-published commercial reports


Fauchald, K., Hutchings, P.A., Miura, T. & Muir, A.I. 1996. Comment on the proposed conservation of the specific names of Dodecaceria concharum Örsted, 1843 and Heterocirrus fimbriatus Verrill, 1879 (currently D. fimbriata) (Annelida, Polychaeta) by the designation of a neotype for D. concharum. (Case 2899; see BZN 52:27-33). Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 53(1):45-46.

+ 2 non-published commercial reports


Sheldrick, M.C., Chimonides, P.J., Muir, A.I., George, J.D., Reid, R.J., Kuiken, T., Iskjaer-Ackley, C. & Kitchener, C. 1995 [dated 1994]. Stranded cetacean records for England, Scotland and Wales, 1987-1992. Investigations on Cetacea 25:5-28.

George, J.D., Chimonides, P.J., Evans, N.J. & Muir, A.I. 1995. Fluctuations in the macrobenthos of a shallow-water cobble habitat off North Norfolk, England. pp.167-179 IN Eleftheriou, A., Ansell, A.D. & Smith, C.J. [Eds.] Biology and ecology of shallow coastal waters. Olsen & Olsen, Fredensborg.

+ 2 non-published commercial reports


3 non-published commercial reports


1 non-published commercial report


1 non-published commercial report


1 non-published commercial report


Muir, A.I. 1989. Species of the genus Sigalion (Annelida: Polychaeta) reported from north-west European waters, with a note on the authorship of the generic name. Cahiers de Biologie Marine 30(3):339-345.


George, J.D. & Muir, A.I. 1988. Polychaeta. In Sims, R.W.; Freeman, P. & Hawksworth, D.L. [Eds.] 1988. Key works to the fauna and flora of the British Isles and north-western Europe. Fifth edition. Systematics Association Special Volume No. 33. Clarendon Press, Oxford. pp. 64-67.

George, J.D. & Muir, A.I. 1988. Pogonophora. In Sims, R.W.; Freeman, P. & Hawksworth, D.L. [Eds.] 1988. Key works to the fauna and flora of the British Isles and north-western Europe. Fifth edition. Systematics Association Special Volume No. 33. Clarendon Press, Oxford. pp. 63-64.


Muir, A.I. 1982. Generic characters in the Polynoinae (Annelida, Polychaeta), with notes on the higher classification of scale-worms (Aphroditacea). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). (Zoology series) 43(3):153-177.


Muir, A.I. 1980. Polychaeta. In Sims, R.W. [Ed.] 1980. Animal identification. A reference guide. Volume 2. Land and freshwater animals (not insects). British Museum (Natural History), London and John Wiley & Sons, Chichester. p. 28.

Muir, A.I. 1980. Polychaeta. In Sims, R.W. [Ed.] 1980. Animal identification. A reference guide. Volume 1. Marine and brackish water animals. British Museum (Natural History), London and John Wiley & Sons, Chichester. pp. 32-38.

Muir, A.I. 1980. Myzostomaria. In Sims, R.W. [Ed.] 1980. Animal identification. A reference guide. Volume 1. Marine and brackish water animals. British Museum (Natural History), London and John Wiley & Sons, Chichester. p. 31.


Muir, A.I. 1979. Proposed use of the plenary powers to designate a type species for Polynoe Savigny, 1818 (Annelida: Polychaeta). Z.N.(S.) 2288. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature. 36(3):187-190.


Muir, A.I. 1977. Index of scientific names and subject index. In Basson, P.W., Burchard, J.E.Jr., Hardy, J.T. & Price, A.R.G. 1977. Biotopes of the western Arabian Gulf. Aramco Department of Loss Prevention and Environmental Affairs, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. pp.274-284.