Copyright All rights reserved by Steve Balcombe

Studying evolution through the specialisations of burying beetles

Swastika Issar, PhD student, writes: “I’ve always been fascinated by how new species can emerge from the way populations adapt to their local environments. For my PhD, I worked on the burying beetles. These incredible insects turn the carcass of a small vertebrate, such as a bird or a mammal, into an edible nest for their larvae. I was interested in studying how local adaptations … Continue reading Studying evolution through the specialisations of burying beetles

Parasitic finches mimic their hosts to deceive foster parents

Gabriel Jamie writes: Research recently published in the journal Evolution shows that the nestlings of brood-parasitic finches mimic the appearance, sound and movements of their host’s chicks. Working in the savannas of Zambia, Dr Gabriel Jamie and a team of international collaborators collected images, sounds and videos over four years to demonstrate this striking and highly specialised form of mimicry. The study, funded by The … Continue reading Parasitic finches mimic their hosts to deceive foster parents

wildflowers in the city (c) Stanley Quek

Singapore’s Nature Ways

Stanley Quek, an MPhil student focusing on assessing the effectiveness of the Nature Ways network in Singapore, writes: Singapore is an island country in the biodiverse region of Southeast Asia. Singapore is also a large city, with urban landscapes dominating the island. In the past, Singapore was completely covered with dense primary forests and mangroves, however, much of that has been lost with the development … Continue reading Singapore’s Nature Ways

Fossil fish specimen

390 million year old fish

To celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month the Museum is sharing the stories of 27 inspirational women, alongside the animals they work with the most. Dr Roz Wade Museum of Zoology “I wasn’t one of those children obsessed with dinosaurs. It was later, at university, that I discovered a love of fossils. I went on to study the Middle Devonian osteolepidid fishes of … Continue reading 390 million year old fish

Bird perching under woven nest

How a weaverbird outsmarts a cuckcoo

To celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month the Museum is sharing the stories of 27 inspirational women, alongside the animals they work with the most. Dr Jenny York Department of Zoology “Right now, I am studying the conspicuous nests built by male African weaverbirds. These work marvellously to woo females, who carefully inspect the nests before choosing their favourite and mating with the … Continue reading How a weaverbird outsmarts a cuckcoo

Zebra in

Can you tell a zebra by its stripes?

To celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month the Museum is sharing the stories of 27 inspirational women, alongside the animals they work with the most. Dr Rebecca Smith Department of Zoology “Cape mountain zebras declined to fewer than 80 animals in the 1950s. Following conservation initiatives, by 2000 there were around 1,600 animals, but the subspecies was still listed as Endangered. To help … Continue reading Can you tell a zebra by its stripes?

polecat Copyright All rights reserved by StanHornagold

Bringing polecats back to Britain

To celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month the Museum is sharing the stories of 27 inspirational women, alongside the animals they work with the most. Dr Katie Sainsbury Department of Zoology “For my PhD, I researched ecological and social aspects of the changing status of polecats in Great Britain. Since almost being eradicated from Britain in the nineteenth century, polecats have been recolonising … Continue reading Bringing polecats back to Britain

Jen Smart looking at landscape through a long lense

Reversing the decline of priority species

To celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month the Museum is sharing the stories of 27 inspirational women, alongside the animals they work with the most. Dr Jennifer Smart RSPB “Species conservation is at the heart of everything I do, and my favourite group of birds are waders like the black-tailed godwit. I work for the RSPB where as a scientist, I was trying … Continue reading Reversing the decline of priority species

Turtle dove (c) httpswww.flickr.comphotosandymorffew

Conserving migratory species through mapping

To celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month the Museum is sharing the stories of 27 inspirational women, alongside the animals they work with the most. Dr Susana Requena-Moreno RSPB, International Science Team “The European turtle dove is threatened with extinction. I analyse the information  from satellite tracking and remote sensing to help identify the drivers of population decline throughout the doves’ migratory cycle. … Continue reading Conserving migratory species through mapping

dipper (c) Iman Shah

Understanding dippers, understanding impact

To celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month the Museum is sharing the stories of 27 inspirational women, alongside the animals they work with the most. Prof Juliet Vickery Head of International Research, Conservation Science RSPB “I firmly believe that effective conservation action should be under-pinned by science. My research has always focussed on understanding the impact of human-related environmental change on the natural … Continue reading Understanding dippers, understanding impact

Ghedoghedo / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Some of the first animals that ever existed

To celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month the Museum is sharing the stories of 27 inspirational women, alongside the animals they work with the most. Dr. Emily Mitchell Department of Zoology “My research focuses on some of the first animals that ever existed. These first animals are found during the Ediacaran time period, around 580 million years ago. I was totally unaware about … Continue reading Some of the first animals that ever existed

Citizen Science

Did you take part in our Zoology Live 2020 event on iRecord? Have you thought about taking part in a wildlife survey as a citizen scientist? Museum Research Assistant Matt Hayes takes a deep dive into the world of citizen science, discussing how it benefits our understanding of the natural world, and how you can get involved: What is Citizen Science? Citizen science is the … Continue reading Citizen Science

River running through oil palm

Restoring river borders for biodiversity

To celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month the Museum is sharing the stories of 27 inspirational women, alongside the animals they work with the most. Dr. Sarah Luke Department of Zoology “I am interested in the effects of habitat change on biodiversity, and development of possible strategies for conservation. My current work is based in oil palm plantations in Indonesia where we are … Continue reading Restoring river borders for biodiversity

By Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE - Fungus-growing Termites (Macrotermes carbonarius), CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40231177

Termite mound-mates create even more questions for scientists

To celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month the Museum is sharing the stories of 27 inspirational women, alongside the animals they work with the most. Dr Amelia Hood Department of Zoology “I’m an ecologist who loves social insects. For my PhD, I worked in oil palm plantations in Indonesia and studied ants and termites. There is one termite species, Macrotermes gilvus, that is … Continue reading Termite mound-mates create even more questions for scientists

Curlew Copyright billywhiz07 on flickr

Changing environments and wading birds

To celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month the Museum is sharing the stories of 27 inspirational women, alongside the animals they work with the most. Dr Sam Franks British Trust for Ornithology I didn’t discover a passion for studying birds until I was in my twenties. After a couple of ornithological fieldwork jobs, I undertook my PhD studying the migration patterns of western … Continue reading Changing environments and wading birds