Goldfinch and great tit on feeder. Image credit John Howlett

The value of gardens for 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. Kate Risely British Trust for Ornithology “My work is in monitoring garden wildlife. I’m particularly interested in how birds use the resources in green spaces in our towns and cities, and the benefits to human wellbeing from everyday … Continue reading The value of gardens for birds

Whale tail

The impact of stories on wildlife conservation

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. Anna Guasco Department of Geography “I’m a first-year Geography PhD student studying histories and narratives of grey whales along the North American Pacific Coast. I’m fascinated by the varieties of relationships between people and grey whales, the stories … Continue reading The impact of stories on wildlife conservation

Urbanisation on the Galápagos Islands

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 Kiyoko Gotanda Department of Zoology “My research centres on how animals are adapting to human influences such as urbanisation. Permanent human populations now live on four of the Galápagos Islands. For animals, urbanisation drastically changes the environment … Continue reading Urbanisation on the Galápagos Islands

Darwin and the bears ‘as monstrous as whales’

Museum Manager Jack Ashby writes: ‘As this week is Bear Awareness week it’s a good chance to share a story from the history of science involving Charles Darwin’s interpretations of what some bears’ behaviour might mean for the evolution of future bear species. ‘He had become aware of observations of a black bear catching insects in the water by swimming for hours with its mouth … Continue reading Darwin and the bears ‘as monstrous as whales’

Museum of Zoology Rhino Specimen. Please note that the horn on the specimen is a replica. Credit S Steele.

Rhinos in art: not just a pretty picture

Oscar Wilson, graduate student says, Not being conventionally beautiful, cute or colourful, rhinos might not seem like the obvious choice for most artists. However they have a much more important role in art history than most animals and the importance of art to the five modern rhino species continues to this day. “How did it die?” One of the scariest questions you can be asked … Continue reading Rhinos in art: not just a pretty picture

Climate responses in the absence of humans

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 Michela Leonardi Department of Zoology “If we want to improve conservation strategies in the face of the current climate emergency, we need to understand how climate influences animal  distribution in the absence of human activity. This is … Continue reading Climate responses in the absence of humans

Rhino

Exploring gender in conservation

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. Fleur Nash Department of Geography “For me, when I think of animals, I can’t separate them from humans. That is why I am researching conservation and how humans, in the form of international non-governmental organisations (INGOs), work within … Continue reading Exploring gender in conservation

Eudyptula minor, University Museum of Zoology collection, copyright University of Cambridge

Protecting penguins

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 Antje Steinfurth RSPB, Centre for Conservation Science “Penguins are one of the most iconic groups of animals, but over half of the world’s penguin species are under threat of extinction. My research has focused on understanding the … Continue reading Protecting penguins

Ana Carneiro looking at albatross

Tracking albatrosses

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 Ana Carneiro and Lizzie Pearmain BirdLife International “The population of wandering albatrosses at South Georgia has declined catastrophically since the 1960s. The major cause of their decline is the birds getting caught on or colliding with fishing … Continue reading Tracking albatrosses

Dragonfly (BEFTA). Credit Ed Turner

A diversity of dragonflies in oil palm plantations

Sarah Luke Museum of Zoology, Insect Ecology Group New research from the Museum of Zoology and collaborators finds a diverse and variable dragonfly community in oil palm plantations in Sumatra, Indonesia. Across the globe, large areas of naturally forested habitats have been converted to agriculture to feed a growing world population. This conversion usually results in dramatic changes in the habitat, including losses of habitat … Continue reading A diversity of dragonflies in oil palm plantations

Lesser redpolls University Museum of Zoology collection ©University of Cambridge

Understanding bird populations in a changing world

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. Eleanor Miller Department of Zoology “We live in an era of significant environmental and climatic change. To understand how species might cope with different climates in the future, it is important to explore how they responded to rapid … Continue reading Understanding bird populations in a changing world

Komodo Island illustration

Here be Dragons!

Explore the real-life world of dragons… Tom Jameson, PhD student says, Dragons do not only populate the myths and legends of the past, but also the world around us. Komodo dragons, Varanus komodoensis, are the world’s largest lizards, so named for reminding early explorers of the beasts of legend. Life as a Komodo dragon Komodo dragon’s skin is rough and durable like other large lizards, … Continue reading Here be Dragons!

Shell University Museum of Zoology, copyright University of Cambridge, Jamie Gundry CC

Secrets of the shell

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 Victoria Sleight Department of Zoology “I want to understand how molluscs make their beautiful shells. We know that shells are made from a mixture of mainly calcium carbonate and a few proteins, but there are many questions … Continue reading Secrets of the shell

Coral reef - credit S Steele

Glacial past, genetic science and saving today’s coral reefs

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. Maddie Emms Department of Zoology “I am a Zoology PhD student interested in how environmental change affects coral reef organisms. Coral reefs are incredibly important habitats but are sensitive to environmental change. I am studying how the loss … Continue reading Glacial past, genetic science and saving today’s coral reefs

Hover Fly On Poppy Head - credit Kate Howlett

Insects are animals too: why perceptions matter

Kate Howlett, NERC-funded PhD student says, Thank you to everyone who got involved in our little experiment last week to find out who we think of as the Easter bunny. Whilst questions like this which ask about our perception of animal species are often just a bit of fun, they are also important in building up a larger picture about our relationship with the natural … Continue reading Insects are animals too: why perceptions matter