November 16, 2016, by Matthew Lumley

Zoology Collection: Discover, Preserve, Educate

Thomas Hartman, Module Convenor

“This module got me back in touch with the reason I chose to study Zoology in the first place… my love of the natural world and its diversity” – Jacob

The aim of the zoology modules is to give you the opportunity to discover and learn some of the practical skills that are required to preserve, repair and create new specimens for a zoology collection. You can then think creatively about how to engage with school groups or the public to inspire and help them learn.


“Very worthwhile experience and has enhanced my interest in the zoology side of biology.” – Hannah

You will have access to a huge selection of zoology specimens which were once part of the core teaching for zoologists. This type of learning has now been replaced by an emphasis on modern techniques, but this does not have the impact of being confronted with a whole skeleton, or a mysterious animal in a jar, or feeling the weight of an elephant’s tooth. Many people will not have seen even common local wildlife like foxes or badgers, they are surprised to find out how small a mole is or the colourfulness of a starling’s feathers.

 “What I loved about this time is that it was within a no pressure environment to take an opportunity to learn for the sake of learning and not to pass exams! I thoroughly enjoyed the dissection and the relaxed, friendly atmosphere that I got to carry it out in.” – Tom

NAA insect sorting (2)

In these modules you will be restoring and preserving the specimens that are to be found in the School of Life Sciences – kept by the MSc in Biological Photography and Imaging – and making new ones through donations or from materials that you may have found.

“I have improved my analysis and critical-thinking skills whilst gaining experience in a lab environment and learning techniques that will help me with my degree.” – Georgina

Advantage award setting butterflies (3)

The skill set that you will develop is around ordering and cataloguing, preparing material and learning about the specimens that we have. You will then be able to apply this knowledge in order to develop outreach material and activities that we use in IntoUniversity events, Mayfest and school visits. Some of our specimens are currently on display at the Willughby exhibition at Lakeside.

“It’s a crime how underappreciated this kind of thing is in biology. Bring it into the curriculum.” – Jacob

Key dates

Application start date: Currently Open

Application deadline: Ongoing

For more module information please click on the following links:

Zoology Collection Volunteers I – Curation XX1N91N

Zoology Collection Volunteers II – Outreach XX184NN

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