Dr Rob Huxley

Rob Huxley
  • Principal Curator
  • Life Sciences department
  • Genomics and Microbial Biodiversity Division
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
London
SW7 5BD

Biography

Employment history

1992 - 2013     Head of Botanical Collections, Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum

1990 - 1992     Collections Manager, Lichens, Botany Department, Natural History Museum

1987 - 1990     Exhibition Development Scientist, Department of Public Services, The Natural 
                           History Museum

1986 - 1987     Publications Manager, Institute of Biology

1983 - 1985     Curator, Greenfield Valley Heritage Park and Abbey Farm Museum, Holywell 
                           Clwyd

1981 - 1983     Research Assistant, Marine Science Laboratories, University College of North 
                           Wales, Menai Bridge

1980                 Museums Assistant, Oriel Eryri Environmental Gallery, National Museum of 
                           Wales

1980                 Part time Lecturer, Polytechnic of North London

1976 - 1979    Research Assistant, Polytechnic of North London

1975                 Research Assistant, Liverpool University

Qualifications

BSc (Botany):  University of Liverpool  

PhD:  University of London   

Certificate in Education (Continuing Education):  CNAA

CBiol. MSB: Society of Biology 

Other Qualifications

Certified Coach,  University of Stathclyde

Professional Roles

External committees

2010                     Museum National d'’Histoire  Naturelle, Paris, Member  of Conseil de 
                              Directions des Collections

2009 - present   Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities , Member of Executive 
                              Committee

2008 - present   European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy, Core member of Directors of 
                              Collections Group

2003 - 2005        Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections: President

2003 - 2008        Natural Science Collections Alliance, Member of Board of Directors

1998 - 1999        Museums and Galleries Commission  Designation Panel, Member

1997 - 1996        Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections: Council member

Editorial boards

1986 - 1988        Biologist  Editorial Board

Curation

Responsibilities and Expertise  

Managing team responsible for access, development and preservation of botanical collections. Coordinator of network and research activities of EU SYNTHESYS project. Departmental management. Corporate responsibilities including leadership and planning of molecular collections facility, training, developing competency frameworks for curators, NHM representative on international bodies e..g Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities. .Corporate sponsorship events/talks. Developing survey methods/standards. Educational responsibilities e.g. teaching on MSc course. developing courses in collections management

Major Projects 

Synthesis ( 2003 - 2013 )

EU Integrated Infrastructure Initiative project. Coordinating Network and Joint Research Activities Activities Consortium of 20 European natural history museums and herbaria. Project provides funding to support trans-national access to collections and a series of networking and research projects.  Networks and research are  related to improving the management of  natural history collections across Europe to  ensure and ensuring their long term preservation and accessibility. Topics include protocols for improving access to molecular data in museum collections , developing a self-assessment survey methodology,  developing collections performance indicators, providing training and advice on collections management topics.  

Synthesys
NHM Molecular Collections Facility Project ( 2008 - 2011 )  (Project Director)

Development of a centralised facility for storing and managing collections  for molecular analysis (e.g. DNA extraction). 

Redevelopment of Cryptogamic Herbarium  ( 2009 )  

Redevelopment of herbarium and staff work areas to improve working environment, provide improved collections storage and access.

Surveys and Assessments of Museums and Herbaria 

Surveys, reports and assessments produced for c 15 museums and herbaria worldwide including National Museums of Kenya (Research and Collections), Oxford University (Herbarium), MNHN Paris (Collections), National Museums of Kenya (Research and Collections), Smithsonian Institution, National Museum  of Natural History  (Collections). Member of UK Museums Libraries and Archives Designation Panel assessing  range of museums and art galleries in UK (devised criteria for assessing natural history collections).

Research

Interests

Collections

New methods for managing natural history collections.

Historical 

Natural History in the 17th and 18th Centuries.

Science 

Taxonomy and ecology of marine and freshwater algae 

Ecology of coastal communities 

Projects 

Freshwater algal Flora of The British Isles: accounts and keys for Oedogonium Link (2002,2009)

Environmental impact assessments of salt marsh and eelgrass beds in the Walney Channel Survey, Cumbria (1993-2010)

Marine Algal survey of Sullom Voe Shetland (1993)

Publications

HUXLEY, R. & Pentecost, A. (In press) . The Oedogoniales In The British Freshwater Algal Flora. 2nd Edition [Ed. DM John ] Cambridge University Press.

HUXLEY, R, Owens, S, Weigel, D & Metzlaf, K 2009. Landscape genomics and natural history collections – a new alliance. EPSO News 12: 1-2

HUXLEY, R. 2007. The Great Naturalists Ed. R.Huxley. Thames Hudson

HUXLEY, R and Bryant J  ( 2007) How to press Seaweeds SPNHC Newsletter

Collins, C.J., Cornish, L.P., HUXLEY, R. & Owens, S.J. 2006. SYNTHESYS Network
Activity C – Assessing standards of collections in European Museums. Collections
Forum
. 21 (1 & 2): 5-18

HUXLEY, R. 2003. Natural history collectors and their collections:’ simpling macaronis and instruments of empire’. In Enlightenment: Discovering the World in the 18th century. Ed. Kim Sloane, British Museum Press: 80-91

HUXLEY, R. (2003) Challenging the dogma: classifying and describing the natural world. In Enlightenment: Discovering the World in the 18th century. p 70-79 Ed. Kim Sloan, British Museum Press

Lydon, S.J., McGee Wood, M., HUXLEY, R., & Sutton, D.A. 2003. Data patterns in multiple botanical descriptions. Systematics and Biodiversity 1 (2):151-157

HUXLEY, R. & Pentecost, A. 2002. The Oedogoniales In The British Freshwater Algal Flora. [Ed. DM John ] Cambridge University Press.

HUXLEY, R. & Bryant, J.A. 1999. The value of museum collections and other information sources for assessing changes in marine flora. In Changes in the Marine Flora of the North Sea, University College Scarborough 1998

Humphries, C.J. & HUXLEY, R. 1998. Non vascular plants In Care and Conservation of Natural History Collections [Ed. Carter D.G and Walker A] Butterworth Heineman.

Williams, D.M. and HUXLEY, R. (1998) ‘Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg 1795-1876: the man and his legacy’. In Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg 1795-1876: the man and his legacy. [Ed Williams D.M, and Huxley, R.] The Linnean, Special Issue No 1. The Linnean Society of London

Williams, D.M., HUXLEY, R. & Ross, R. 1998. Applying the past to the present: unravelling Ehrenberg’s names: In Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg 1795-1876: the man and his legacy. [Ed. Williams, D.M. and Huxley, R.] The Linnean, Special Issue No 1. The Linnean Society of London.

HUXLEY, R, (1997). Plant Collections for non-Botanists Workshop: Guidelines for Mounting Algae. The Biology Curator 8: 9-10

HUXLEY, R. (1995) Collections database policy and strategy at the Natural History Museum. The Biology Curator 5: 16-17

Reid, G., HUXLEY, R. & Williams, D. M. (1995) Further considerations towards a diatom type catalogue: Fragilariforma virescens and its varieties. The Phycologist 40: 29.

Ingram, D., Lucas, G.L.l. & HUXLEY, R. 1994 Botanical collections at risk. Nature, 371: 9

HUXLEY, R., Tittley, I and Farnham, W.F. (1994) Disturbance effects of an oil terminal on the marine algae of Sullom Voe, Shetland. Phycologist 37: 29

HUXLEY, R. (1994) Aspects of Herbarium Management and Conservation at the Natural History Museum. In: Conservation and the Herbarium [Ed. R.E. Child] Institute of Paper Conservation.

Carne, D.E., John, D.M., HUXLEY, R., Johnson, L.R. & Moore, J.A. (1994). William and George West: an analysis of their publications, collections and taxa. The Phycologist 37: 42. (E)

Holland, D.L., HUXLEY, R., Hill, E.M. and Crisp, D.J. (1986) The effects of the Blackstone oil-shale exposure on intertidal organisms at Clavell's Hard, Kimmeridge, Dorset, UK.: a review of an ecological and experimental study. Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society. 107: 135-139

Lewis, D.J., Holland D.L., Grove, D.J. and HUXLEY, R. (1986). Influence of oil-shale on intertidal organisms: effect of oil-shale on the ability of a littoral fish, the blenny, Blennius pholis to detect water quality. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 79: 145-154

Holland, D.L., Crisp, D.J., HUXLEY, R. and Sisson, J. (1984) Influence of oil-shale on intertidal organisms: effect of oil-shale extract on the settlement of the barnacle Balanus balanoides. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 75: 245-255.

Gruffydd, Ll.D., HUXLEY, R. and Crisp, D.J. (1984). The reduction in growth of the mussel Mytilus edulis in fluctuating salinity regimes measured using a laser diffraction patterns and the exaggeration of this effect using tap water as a diluting medium. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 64: 401-409

HUXLEY, R., Holland, D.L., Crisp, D.J. and Smith, R.S.L. (1984). Influence of oil-shale on intertidal organisms: effect of oil-shale surface roughness on settlement of the barnacle Balanus balanoides. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 82: 231-237

HUXLEY, R. (1978). A Brief Guide to the British species of Antithamnion Nägeli. British Phycological Society Newsletter 11: 15-18

Commissioned Reports

HUXLEY R (1999) The botanical and zoological collections of the University of Birmingham. Report to West Midlands Area Museums Council

HUXLEY, R. (1999) The botanical collections of the University of Reading.
Report to South East Area Museums Council

HUXLEY, R. (1999) The botanical collections of the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford. Report to South East Area Museums Council

HUXLEY R, (1999) The botany collections of the University of Leicester. Report to West Midlands Area Museums Council

HUXLEY, R. and Milner A.M. (1998) Restructuring the National Museums of Kenya: Research and Collections Management Issues. Report to Hunting Technical Services Ltd

Tittley I., HUXLEY, R. & Jermy A.C. (1993). Investigation of the effects of sewage spills on the vegetation of Walthamstow Marshes. A report to Thames Water Utilities. The Natural History Museum, London. 72pp.

Holland, D.L., Crisp, D. J. and HUXLEY, R. (1984) The effects of natural oil- seepage on intertidal organisms. 3rd Report to the Advisory Commission on Oil Pollution in the Sea.

Holland, D.L., Crisp, D. J. and HUXLEY, R. (1983) The effects of natural oil-seepage on intertidal organisms. 2nd Report to the Advisory Commission on Oil Pollution in the Sea.

Holland, D.L., Crisp, D. J. and HUXLEY, R. (1982) The effects of natural oil-seepage on intertidal organisms. 1st Report to the Advisory Commission on Oil Pollution in the Sea.

HUXLEY R. Volunteers in Musuems. Report to Clwyd County Museums Council (1985)

Carah, J., Betteridge, C. HUXLEY, R. and Russell, G. (1975). A phytosociological study of the lower tidal reaches of the River Dee, Cheshire. Report to the Welsh Water Development Authority