Ms Clare Valentine

Clare Valentine photo
  • Head of Zoological Collections
  • Life Sciences department
  • Invertebrates
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
London
SW7 5BD

Biography

Employment history

View of DC1 atrium

Darwin Centre - Zoology spirit collections. © This image is copyright to the Natural History Museum, London.

 

2003 – present      Head of Collections for Zoology
                                 (Band 3), The Natural History Museum,
                                 NHM.

2001 – 2008          Collections Manager
                                 (Band 4), Lower Invertebrates, NHM.

1993 – present      Curator of Recent Porifera
                                  (Scientific Officer/Band 5), Invertebrates
                                 1 Curation Group, NHM.

1992 – 1993          Curator (Assistant Scientific Officer),
                                 working jointly for the Mammal Group
                                 and Invertebrates 2 Curation Group,
                                 NHM. (Employed on 2-year contract).

1990 – 1991          Assistant Curator,
                                 Natural Sciences Department,
                                 Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery.
                                 (Employed on 2-year contract).           

Qualifications

MSc. (with commendation) Museum Studies, University of Leicester, 1989.

BSc. (Hons.), Biology, The Queen’s University of Belfast, 1988.

 

Job Responsibilities and Expertise

I have responsibility for the care, maintenance, enhancement, administration and provision of access to the estimated 28 million zoology specimens, which are stored across the Museum’s 3 sites (South Kensington, Tring and the off-site store in South London) as well as long-term strategic planning. I am also closely involved in managing the collections management staff. 

The collections management staff in Zoology are divided into 5 curatorial teams: Mammals; Birds; Amphibians, Reptiles & Fish; Higher Invertebrates (Mollusca & Bryozoa) and Lower Invertebrates (all other phyla excluding Entomology).   I am based in Darwin Centre (phase 1), which was specifically built to house the Museum’s wet-preserved specimens and so regularly host visits for museum professionals interested in the specific design of the building.

Blaschka model

Blaschka glass model from the Zoology collections. © This image is copyright to the Natural History Museum, London.

 

I am currently developing a Collections Procedures Manual for the Department with the help of a small team, which consists of writing practical protocols for day-to-day collections management activities (in line with the new NHM Collections Committee standardised Collections Management Policies).  I also assist in museum-wide policy making and procedures; helping to write the policies and procedures for Interventive Processes; Destructive and Invasive Sampling and Outgoing Research Loans as well as taking part in the editorial board for all the new policies.

I serve on various collections management committees for the Museum; these are the Collections Committee; Conservation Group; Integrated Pest Management Group (IPMG); Disaster Planning team and Environmental Monitoring Group.  For the IPMG I have been part of the team developing the pest risk zones concept and with the environmental group I have been the co-organiser planning the purchase and roll-out of new collections-wide environmental monitoring equipment.

I have expertise in collections management particularly: policies and procedures; risk management for collections; integrated pest management; disaster/contingency/salvage planning; transporting dangerous goods; specimen conservation & condition surveys; new methods of specimen preservation; looking into health & safety issues such as arsenic used in the preservation of in vertebrate specimens and moving specimens or large parts of the collection. Additionally working knowledge of the Department’s Porifera collection & sponge taxonomy.

Professional Roles

Waterhouse terracotta detail

Terracotta in the Waterhouse building. © This image is copyright to the Natural History Museum, London.

Committees: Internal

1994 – present Zoology representative on the Conservation Group

1992– present Zoology representative on IPM (Integrated Pest Management) Group

2003 – present Zoology representative on NHM Collections Committee

2006 - present member of the Special Funds Committee

2008 – present member of the Collections Storage Improvement Programme Group

Committees: External

2008-2011 Elected as Coordinator of the Natural History Collections Working Group, Committee for Conservation, International Council for Museums (ICOM-CC)

ICOM-Committee for Conservation Natural History Working Group

 

2007-2010  Elected as Member at Large,  Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) Council

Society for the Preservation of Natural Collections

 

2006 – present Asked to act as the Natural Science Collections Association (NatSCA) representative to the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) committee

2003 – 2008 Advisor to the “Renaissance in the Regions” natural history project at Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery

1996- present Honorary Associate of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels, Belgium. Invited to curate the Porifera collections, several visits made 1996-7.

1993 – 1996 Founding Member of Natural Sciences Conservation Group committee [NSCG later joined with the Biology Curators Group to become NatSCA].

photo of HMS Challenger at sea

The Voyage of H.M.S. Challenger (1872-1876) was funded by the British Government for the purpose of scientific discovery. © This image is copyright to the Natural History Museum, London.

 

Meetings, workshops, invited seminars

2009  Invited speaker SPNHC Conference “Business Continuity and Collections Salvage: An Integrated European Approach”.

2008-09 Invited to attend 1st and 2nd SYNTHESYS Network Activity C Disaster Planning Workshops in Madrid and Paris

2008-09 Invited to act as the SPNHC Council Liaison to Organising Committee for 24th Annual meeting of SPNHC “Bridging Continents” to be held at Naturalis, Leiden, 6 – 11 July 2009.

2008 Invited speaker Museums Studies faculty staff seminars, University of Leicester “The Darwin Centre Phase 2”.

2008 Invited speaker SPNHC Conference “Collections Care versus Customer Care: how do you provide access for visiting researchers without compromising curation?”

2008 Organiser of the 1st Daubenton Workshop a joint meeting between staff at the NHM, London and the Musée d’historie Naturelle, Paris, held at the NHM 22-23 September 2008.

2007 Invited speaker SPNHC Conference “The Darwin Centre: evolution of a building in two phases”.

2007 Invited speaker Museums Studies and University Museum seminar series, University of Manchester “Research in the Museum: Strategic Change and Collections Development”.

2005 Member of Organising Committee for 20th Annual meeting of SPNHC, “Realising Standards” held at the NHM 12-18 June 2005.

Curation

thames whale in display case

Hyperoodon ampullatus, northern bottlenose whale skeleton (The Thames Whale.) A specimen in the Zoology collections. © This image is copyright to the Natural History Museum, London.

 

 

I have expertise in collections management particularly: policies and procedures; risk management for collections; integrated pest management; disaster/contingency/salvage planning; transporting dangerous goods; specimen conservation & condition surveys; new methods of specimen preservation; looking into health & safety issues such as arsenic used in the preservation of in vertebrate specimens. 

Additionally I have a good working knowledge of the Department’s Porifera collection & sponge taxonomy.

I interact with other the Heads of Collections and the Museum’s Registrar through the Collections Committee, which at the moment is working hard on updating and implementing a series of standardised Collections Management Policies for all aspects of curatorial work museum-wide. This project is being rolled out in tangent with the Museum’s new collections management database using KE EMu software. We are also developing a Collections Procedures Manual for the Department, which consists of writing practical protocols for day-to-day collections management activities (in line with the Collections Management Policies).

wet nautlius specimen

Wet preserved Nautlius specimen from the Zoology collections. © This image is copyright to the Natural History Museum, London.

 

My particular areas of personal interest and involvement with other cross-departmental projects and committees are:

•         Disaster/Contingency/Salvage Planning

•         Environmental Monitoring

•         Integrated Pest Management

•         Specimen conservation & Condition surveys

•         Risk Management

•         Transporting Dangerous Goods

Research

pigeons from material collected by Darwin collection

Examples of pigeons bred by Charles Darwin from the Zoology collection. © This image is copyright to the Natural History Museum, London.

 

 

 

Research interests

I have strong interests in the following areas of collections management and have set up a number of initiatives and research projects in the Department looking in to; risk management for collections; integrated pest management; disaster/contingency/salvage planning; transporting dangerous goods; specimen conservation & condition surveys; new methods of specimen preservation; the implications of destructive sampling; and looking into health & safety issues for staff such as biocides particularly arsenic used in the preservation of vertebrate specimens. 

I have also collaborated on publications relating to the NHM sponge collections with a number of colleagues from the international porifera research community. 

Publications

wet specimens in jars

Wet preserved specimens from the Zoology collections. © This image is copyright to the Natural History Museum, London.

Selected Publications

1.        Sabin, R.C., Adams, M.P. & Valentine C. 2004. Elephants in the attic…RIC Arts and Antiques. The Arts Surveyor. June 2004: 2.

2.        Klautau, M. & Valentine, C. 2003. A Revision of the genus Clathrina (Porifera, Calcarea.) Zoological Journal of the Linnaean Society, 139: 1-62.

3.        Desqueyroux-Faundez, R. & Valentine, C. 2002.  Family Callyspongidae. In: Systema Porifera. (Eds. Hooper, J.N.A. & van Soest, R.W.M.)  835-851. Plenum Press.

4.        Desqueyroux-Faundez, R. & Valentine, C. 2002.   Family Niphatidae. In: Systema Porifera. (Eds. Hooper, J.N.A. & van Soest, R.W.M.)  874-889. Plenum Press.

5.        Desqueyroux-Faundez, R. & Valentine, C. 2002.   Family Petrosidae. In: Systema Porifera. (Eds. Hooper, J.N.A. & van Soest, R.W.M.)  906-917. Plenum Press.

6.        Desqueyroux-Faundez, R. & Valentine, C. 2002   Family Phloeodictyidae. In: Systema Porifera. (Eds. Hooper, J.N.A. & van Soest, R.W.M.)  893-917. Plenum Press.

7.        Rapp, H. T., Klautau, M. & Valentine, C. 2001.  Two new species of Clathrina (Porifera, Calcarea) from the Norwegian coast. Sarsia 86 (1):69-74.

8.        Hooper, J.N.A., List-Armitage, S., Kennedy, J.A., Cook, S.D. & Valentine C.A. 1999. Sponges of the Low Isles, Great Barrier Reef: an important scientific site, or case of mistaken identity? Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 44: 249-262.

9.        Andrew, K., Lampard, D., Valentine, C. & Walentowicz, T. 1996. Report on the Second World

Congress on the Care and Preservation of Natural History Collections, University of Cambridge, 20-24 August 1996. The Biology Curator. Issue no.7.

10.    Kelly-Borges, M. & Valentine, C.A. 1995. The Sponges of the Tropical Island Region of Oceania: A Taxonomic Status Review. Chapter 6. In: Marine and Coastal Biodiversity in the Tropical Island Pacific Region. Volume 1. Species Systematics and Information Management Priorities. (Eds. Maragos J.E. et al.)

Contributions on NHM Porifera specimens to the ETI web database on North East Atlantic Sponge Fauna.