What Do Museums Do?

Sunday 23/06/24
Interstellar Ideas on the Beach

What exactly do natural history museums do? Join Jonathan Ablett, senior curator of Molluscs, as he talks about what he does and why it is important. Using examples of molluscs from the collection of 8 million specimens housed in the Natural History Museum, London, Jonathan will talk about how we name and describe the biodiversity of our planet to stories about saving snails from extinction, collecting squid in the deep sea and how slug slime can heal a broken heart.


Jonathan has worked at the Natural History Museum for over 20 years. He is the Senior Curator in charge of the 8 million mollusc specimens housed in the Natural History Museum, from microscopic snails found on the top of mountains to weird and wonderful deep sea squid and octopus. In 2006 he was responsible for the preparation of Archie our giant squid, the largest spirit preserved specimen in the museum to date. His research has focused on the tropical biodiversity of land snails in South Asia, SE Asia and as well as South America. He is also interested in the history of collectors and collecting and tracing spread and exchange of molluscan specimens across UK.