Bird display at the Museum of Zoology

Behind the Scenes at the Museum for Open Cambridge 2021

We have a special treat for you as part of the Open Cambridge Festival 2021: not one but three virtual tours of the Museum. Go behind the scenes for a tour of the Bird Room with Curator of Ornithology Dr Daniel Field and a tour of the Insect Room by Research Assistant Matt Hayes. Then follow Assistant Director Jack Ashby as he guides you around … Continue reading Behind the Scenes at the Museum for Open Cambridge 2021

Atlantic puffin with beak full of sand eels

How to Study: Seabirds

In this blog series for National Marine Week, Geography PhD Student Anna Guasco describes the many ways Cambridge postgraduate researchers study life in the ocean. Here she interviews: Lily Bentley: Seabird Movement Ecology Lily Bentley is PhD Student in the Department of Zoology. She is from Australia. “We can’t hope to conserve or manage populations of animals that travel vast distances unless we know where … Continue reading How to Study: Seabirds

Aerial roots of mangrove trees

How to Study: Coastal Ecosystems and Conservation

In this blog series for National Marine Week, Geography PhD Student Anna Guasco describes the many ways Cambridge postgraduate researchers study life in the ocean. Here she interviews: Frédérique Fardin: Mangroves, Fisheries, and Conservation Frédérique is a PhD student with the Department of Geography and the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre. She is an affiliated researcher with the Nippon Foundation Nereus Program and a … Continue reading How to Study: Coastal Ecosystems and Conservation

Win whale skeleton at the Museum of Zoology

How to Study Marine Life in the World’s Changing Seas

In this blog series for National Marine Week, Geography PhD Student Anna Guasco describes the many ways Cambridge postgraduate researchers study life in the ocean: Cambridge isn’t exactly known for marine life. Instead, when thinking of Cambridge, you might picture cows grazing in Midsummer Common or along the River Cam. Pathways winding along the Backs of the old Colleges. Weeping willows and wildflowers. Swans and … Continue reading How to Study Marine Life in the World’s Changing Seas

Duke of Burgundy Butterfly

The Duke of Burgundy Butterfly

Conserving an endangered butterfly into the future: long term requirements of the Duke of Burgundy. Research Assistant at the Museum of Zoology Matt Hayes writes: Seeing butterflies on the wing is usually a sure-fire sign that warmer weather has arrived and for most of us, I hope they are a common sight on sunny days in spring and summer. In fact, one of my favourite … Continue reading The Duke of Burgundy Butterfly

Close up of a drawer of large blue butterflies in the Museum of Zoology

Conservation Success Stories

For the Earth Optimism Festival organised by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative this year, the Museum created a film of Conservation Success Stories based on specimens in our collections. It was fascinating and uplifting to hear these stories of actions people have taken that have benefited wildlife the world over from researchers and conservation practitioners involved with these projects. To celebrate International Day for Biological Diversity … Continue reading Conservation Success Stories

Gharial skull

Endangered Species Day

To mark Endangered Species Day on Friday 21 May 2021, staff and volunteers at the Museum of Zoology have been writing about the endangered species on display in the galleries that hold stories important to them. Come and explore these amazing animals with us. Orangutan, Pongo pygmaeus Dr Ed Turner, Curator of Insects As Curator of Insects, selecting orangutans to write about might seem an … Continue reading Endangered Species Day

Animal adventurers banner with illustrations by Pablo Donado Sticky post

Animal Adventurers: the game

The natural world is full of stories to discover. Use the Museum of Zoology collection to explore habitats, complete puzzles and build a team of the animals you meet along the way. Before you begin: Grab a pencil and piece of paper so that you can record your favourite stories or animals while you play. Draw a picture of your ultimate animal team to share … Continue reading Animal Adventurers: the game

Title slide for Inspiring Conservation for International Women's Day 2021

Inspiring Conservation for International Women’s Day 2021

The past twelve months have changed the world, but there are reasons for optimism in nature. On Monday 8 March 2021, the Museum in collaboration with the CCF Women in Conservation Leadership network hosted an online event celebrating inspiring work by women in conservation. A panel of amazing women talked of their experiences engaging with young people and communities in conservation projects around the world:Abhisheka … Continue reading Inspiring Conservation for International Women’s Day 2021

View of a rainforest in Costa Rica from above

We know conservation is working, but do we really know what works?

Alec Christie, PhD student in the Conservation Evidence group of the Department of Zoology writes: Go to your doctor and they’ll give you the best treatment based on the scientific evidence. So why can’t we do the same for biodiversity? Recently we’ve seen a flurry of important work highlighting the continuing decline of biodiversity, including David Attenborough’s documentary Extinction: the facts. It’s also very encouraging … Continue reading We know conservation is working, but do we really know what works?

White admiral on leaf

Provide shady spots to protect butterflies from climate change

Researchers have discovered significant variations in the ability of different UK butterfly species to maintain a suitable body temperature. Species that rely most on finding a suitably shady location to keep cool are at the greatest risk of population decline. The results predict how climate change might impact butterfly communities, and will inform conservation strategies to protect them. The results, published in the Journal of … Continue reading Provide shady spots to protect butterflies from climate change

yellow petaled flower with black yellow bee during daytime

Busy Bee Communication

Ever wondered how bees communicate with each other to work as a team? Learn about the important job these pollinating insects carry out. Play our ‘Talk like a Bee’ game and discover how bees can ‘smell’ each other when visiting flowers, and find out how we can give these insects a helping hand by building your very own bee-friendly winter refuge. Insect communication Insects can … Continue reading Busy Bee Communication

Two images showing the same butterfly species in wet season and dry season

Why do butterflies change their wing pattern with the seasons?

Sridhar Halali, graduate student researcher, writes: “While wandering amid the forests of India, I had always been struck by a few butterfly species, which seemed to exhibit different wing patterns in the wet and dry seasons. This is called ‘seasonal polyphenism’, and I found out subsequently that this phenomenon is one of the adaptations to the seasons experienced in the tropics. The wet season form … Continue reading Why do butterflies change their wing pattern with the seasons?