Nannofossil collections

The nannofossil collections housed by the Museum are particularly important for ocean acidification studies. They contain both fossil and modern coccolithophores.

The museum's nannofossil collections are primarily image catalogues of key species. The catalogue includes tens of thousands of scanning electron microscope images, a mixture of:

  • taxa, collected during cruise studies to evaluate the biology of living coccoliths 
  • some fossil material
Reference collection

We also hold a microfossil reference collection of nannofossils for the Ocean Drilling Programme, a key resource for coccolithophore research.

This contains approximately 5,000 slides covering the range of sediments recovered by the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) and Ocean Drilling Project (ODP).

  • Former BP collection localities.
    Former British Petroleum collection

    The former British Petroleum collection includes around 78,000 palynological slides from 3,800 wells and outcrops worldwide. A Google Earth layer locating all well locations for the collection is available.