News from the Sector – December

Images in banner © Horniman Museum and Gardens

News from the Sector is a monthly blog series featuring the latest geological and palaeontological news, jobs, exhibitions, and conferences. If you or your institution has anything they would like to add, or advertise on GCG’s News from the Sector, please get in touch at

Conferences and Workshops

The Royal Society is holding a two day discussion meeting in London called The past is a foreign country: how much can the fossil record actually inform conservation? Registration for the day-time portions is free. There is also a Poster Session and Drinks Reception on the Monday evening, for which is £10 entry.

I have been informed that there are still a few places left on NatSCA’s one day conference on 30th January 2019 called Finding Funds for Fossils, Ferns and Flamingos: How to secure money for museum collections. It will take place at the World Museum in Liverpool and tickets are available on Eventbrite.

NatSCA has also put out the Call for Papers for their annual conference in May 2019, called Dead Interesting: Secrets of Collections Success. The aim of #NatSCA2019, due to take place in Dublin, is ‘to unlock the secrets of collections success by sharing how our members and colleagues in the wider sector have used collections to benefit their organisations, communities and the wider world’. Abstract submissions close on 4th January 2019 so don’t wait until after Christmas as let’s face it you’ll probably forget.

The History of Geology Group are hosting a two day conference called Celebrating the Centenary of Geological Society Female Fellows, on the 21st and 22nd May 2019. It will be hosted at Burlington House, in London. They have put out their Call for Papers, on the historical contribution of women in geology.

The Institute of Continuing Education of University of Cambridge has an online course starting in April called Evolution: Unravelling the Meaning of Life. There are also two other courses taking place at the university; Fossils and the History of Life on 19th and 20th May 2019, and Rocks, Minerals and Fossils: An Introduction to Geology, which is from the 21st to the 23rd June 2019.

The Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) is holding their annual conference at the Field Museum in Chicago, 25th-31st May 2019. The theme will be Making the Case for Natural History. There are many reasons to get to this conference if you can, not least for the opportunity to visit the venue in which The Relic was filmed. Best museum based monster movie of all time.

Also in June next year, the Society for the History of Natural History is running their annual conference in collaboration with us, the Geological Curators’ Group, called; Trading Nature. It will take place at The King’s Manor, University of York, from the 4th to the 5th June 2019. The Call for Papers has just gone out, closing date 11th January, and we are encouraging geological and palaeontological submissions for an Earth Sciences themed session. As it is a joint meeting, members of GCG get the members rates for registration. YAY!

The third Digital Data in Biodiversity Research Conference, is due to be held in June 2019, at Yale University. The conference is being organised by Yale University and Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in collaboration with iDigBio of the Florida Museum of Natural History. Registration and the Call for Papers are due to open in January, so watch the above website.

The 2019 World Congress on Geology and Earth Science is due to take place from 11th to the 13th July, at the Holiday Inn London-Heathrow.

© Horniman Museum and Gardens

Exhibitions and Events

If you’re in Ulster over the Christmas period, the Natural History Museum‘s Dippy the Diplodocus will be on display at Ulster Museum until 6th January as part of the exhibition Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure. Dippy’s complete tour is due to last until 31st October 2020.

Also on until the 6th January is the Hidden Gems: Scotland’s Agates exhibition at National Museum of Scotland. In case you haven’t seen it yet, here is a super blog about the exhibition to wet your appetite.

The Essex Gem and Mineral Show, hosted by the Essex Rock and Mineral Society, will take place in Romford on Saturday 23rd February 2019. To quote one ERMS member; ‘It is one of only a handful of ‘proper’ collectors’ fairs around Britain’, so clearly you won’t want to miss it.

The Cambridge Geological Society runs a series of lectures at The Friends Meeting House, 91- 93 Hartington Grove, Cambridge. There is a small fee for non-members but all are welcome. The next talk, called ‘Ediacaran Microfossils’ given by Peter Adamson, will take place on the 14th January 2019, doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.

The next CGS talk after Peter’s will be on the 11th February 2019. It is called ‘Close Encounters of the Third (Geological) Kind’, given by Steve Thompson, and will look at the geology of Sao Tome and Principe, in the Gulf of Guinea.

The Warwickshire Geological Conservation Group also runs a lecture series. The next (very exciting sounding) lecture coming up will be on the 20th February 2019. The lecture ‘Swimming Plesiosaurs and Flying Dinosaurs; Palaeontology at Wollaton Hall, Nottingham’ will be given by Dr Adam Smith (he will also be talking a little about Chinese dinosaur discoveries). Due to take place at 7.30pm in St Francis Church Hall, 110 Warwick Road, Kenilworth, doors open from 7pm. Please check the venue before you travel as they can change.

The Hull Geological Society (HGS) also has a couple of great events coming up; The New Year Geology Walk and Picnic, at Withernsea on the 5th January 2019; On the 17th January 2019 is an evening Lecture ‘Exploring Morocco’s Palaeontological Riches’ by Dr. Michael Oates; and on the 21st February 2019 there is another evening lecture ‘The Quaternary record of the British Ice Sheet’ by Prof. Chris Clark. The lectures are held in the Cohen Building at the University of Hull, be there for 7pm.

© Horniman Museum and Gardens

Job Vacancies

The Horniman Museum and Gardens is looking for a part-time Collections Assistant to work across the collections at this three-discipline museum. The closing date is 10am the 4th January 2019.

The Alfred Russel Wallace Correspondence Project is looking for a Research Editor. The role description doesn’t appear to be on their website so for more information please email g.beccaloni@wallaceletters.orgClosing date is midnight on 9th January 2019.

National Museums Scotland is advertising for an Assistant Curator, Earth Systems. It’s a permanent, full time role. The deadline is 25th January 2019.


If you would like to contribute content and get some free advertising, please email

Compiled by Dr Emma Nicholls, Deputy Keeper of Natural History at the Horniman Museum and Gardens.

Images throughout © Horniman Museum and Gardens

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