Forams (Foraminifera)

Forams are present in many historical marine collections that could be of use for ocean acidification research. 

They are in the following collections at the Natural History Museum:

  • Buckley collection
  • Chagos Islands coral collection
  • Discovery collection
  • Heron-Allen type slide collection
  • HMS Challenger collection
  • Ocean bottom residue collection

They are also represented elsewhere, in the:

  • Dry Invertebrate Store at the Zoology Museum, University of Cambridge
  • FJ North, Challenger and Porcupine, and Ernest Heath collections - geology and palaeontology collections at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff
  • Bruce Foraminifera Collection - one of the non-survey collections of National Museums Scotland
Scanning electron microscope image showing the spiral side of a planktonic foraminifer
Buckley collection

Discover the collection of Henry Buckley, a valuable resource for the study of global change on recent planktonic foraminifera.


Heliopora coerulea, blue coral
Chagos Islands coral collections

The Chagos archipelago lacks overfishing and pollution, making it potentially suitable for use as a global reference baseline for monitoring the impact of ocean acidification on local biota. Although this is predominantly a coral collection, some other taxa are included. Find out more.


Formalin-preserved specimens from the extensive Antarctic Discovery expedition collections
Discovery collections

The Discovery collections originate from a number of different expeditions that took place from 1901-1999. The collection of pteropods may be of particular importance for ocean acidification research, and there are a wide variety of other marine specimens as well as ocean bottom deposits and residues. Learn more.


Specimen of an orbitolite specimen, Orbitolites complanata
Heron-Allen slide collection

Learn about Edward Heron-Allen’s vast collection of foraminifera type slides. It includes specimens gathered from samples from a number of notable research voyages.


Engraved view of HMS Challenger (1872-1876)
HMS Challenger collection

Scientists on the 1872-76 HMS Challenger expedition collected a vast amount of natural history material from around the globe, which is accompanied by extensive taxonomic and summary reports. Get information about the Challenger collections housed at the Natural History Museum.



An ostracod
Dry Invertebrate Store taxa

See a summary of what can be found in the Dry Invertebrate Store.


Some of the artistically-arranged forams in the Ernest Heath Collection
Geology and palaeontology collections

These collections include beach sand, forams, bryozoa and diatoms - including foram and diatom ooze from the HMS Challenger and Porcupine expeditions. Find out more.


A brittle star (ophiuroid), Gorgoncephalus sp
Non-survey collections

Specimens from individual collectors are generally less suited to non-systematic investigations than those in the survey collections. However the Richie and Stephens Collection of hydroids, echiurids and sipunculids, and the Bruce Foraminifera Collection, are worthy of a special mention.