News from the Sector – August

Images in banner © Horniman Museum and Gardens

Online Events

Executing Virtual Events: Lessons learned from Digital Data & SPNHC Conference Planners, part of the iDigBio webinar series – Adapting to COVID-19: Resources for Natural History Collections in a New Virtual World, will take place on the 25th August 2020.

The Museums Association is running a webinar series called Coronavirus Conversations. They have covered a number of topics including “Future of our Workforce”, “Collections” and “Leadership During a Crisis”, all of which can be viewed via the above link. The next in this series is The Future of Civic Museums on the 26th August 2020.

The South East Museum Development Programme is hosting a webinar called Returning to Volunteering, on 28th August 2020. “As the cultural sector re-opens over the coming weeks and months, volunteering will be top of many museums’ agendas. Many of us will be wondering how to manage the tricky balance between the operational requirements for volunteers in a newly re-opened museum and our duty of care to protect volunteers’ health, safety and well-being… [This webinar is] Ideal for trustees and volunteer managers at small and/or volunteer-managed museums, this practical workshop will help you to consider how the nature of volunteering might change in your museum in the coming months, including key measures for volunteers’ health, safety and well-being and how to prevent and manage difficult situations when introducing new Covid-19 policies and working practices with volunteers.”

The Geological Society of London’s next public lecture will be Getting Inside the Heads of Early Vertebrates by Dr Sam Giles. Due to be held on the 2nd September 2020 at 2.30pm BST online. To book your free ticket please see their website.

The West Midlands Regional Group is hosting their September meeting The Low Level Waste Repository, West Cumbria: Long-Term Coastal Change and Glacial Geology online on the 7th September 2020.

The 2020 annual meeting of the International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) Project 653: the onset of the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event will be held virtually 7th-10th September 2020. Discussions will take place on the themes of geology, palaeontology and geochemistry. Please see their website for more information or to register.

The next webinar in the Museums Association series Coronavirus Conversations is Front of House on the 9th September 2020.

Taking the Pulse of Natural History Collections During COVID-19 Series: Where are we now?, part of the iDigBio webinar series – Adapting to COVID-19: Resources for Natural History Collections in a New Virtual World, will take place 15th – 17th September 2020. Join iDigBio, NSCA, BCON, NSF, and SPNHC for a mini-series to discuss the climate of natural history collections during COVID. What is the community experiencing? How are they coping? How do we persevere?”

The Linnean Society of London is hosting the webinar – Key Land Plant Innovations in Bryophytes on the 24th September 2020. “Dr Silvia Pressel FLS will discuss how current hypotheses on the origin and evolution of key land plant innovations fit into emerging evolutionary scenarios, focusing on bryophyte mycorrhizal-like associations and the stomatal apparatus.”

The GCG is proud to be hosting the Symposium of Palaeontological Preparation and Conservation during Earth Science Week October 11th-17th 2020. The format is posters only, with Friday 16th October dedicated to questions and answers with presenters on social media and dedicated Zoom discussion. “Conservation and preparation are used in their broadest sense here and include all physical work undertaken on or with any geological material to prepare it for research, teaching or display”. The deadline for abstracts is Monday 31st August. Full details can be found on our Events Page.

The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology will take place online from the 12th to the 16th October 2020. Virtual content will be accessible only until 18th October 2020.

The Geological Society of America is hosting their annual conference virtually this year… “GSA has held an Annual Meeting every year since 1888, despite pandemics, the Great Depression, and both World Wars”. GSA Connects Online will take place 26th-30th October 2020.

Virtual Project Management, Tips and Tools, part of the iDigBio webinar series – Adapting to COVID-19: Resources for Natural History Collections in a New Virtual World, will take place on the 27th October 2020.

On the 16th November 2020 The Linnean Society of London will host the webinar Evolution of Passerine Birds by Professor Jon Fjeldså from 6.30pm BST. This is a special lecture in association with the British Ornithologists’ Club. See the “Autumn-Winter Events Programme” via the above link.

Engaging Public Participation in Collections Digitization, part of the iDigBio webinar series – Adapting to COVID-19: Resources for Natural History Collections in a New Virtual World, will take place on the 18th November 2020.

The Linnean Society of London is hosting the webinar – Climate Change, Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services by Dr Nathalie Pettorelli at 6pm BST on the 26th November 2020. See the “Autumn-Winter Events Programme” via the above link.


A few networks and institutions have set up weekly events to keep us informed, entertained and connected. Here are a couple, but please let us know ( of any others that should be added to this list:

SedsOnline is an online webinar series sponsored by the International Association of Sedimentologists. They have a webinar every Wednesday at 4pm BST, as well as regular communal Coffee Breaks!

The Natural History Museum, London is hosting Nature Live Online every Tuesday at 12pm BST and Friday at 10.30am BST. Recent titles include; Ice Age Megafauna and Darwin’s Fossils.


Send us Your Stuff!

If you would like to contribute content to our monthly blog series News from the Sector (and get some free advertising) please get in touch with Emma Nicholls, email

News from the Sector is compiled by the GCG Blog and Newsletter Editor Dr Emma Nicholls, Deputy Keeper of Natural History at the Horniman Museum and Gardens.

Images throughout © Horniman Museum and Gardens

Please note, events listed above are not necessarily endorsed by the Geological Curators’ Group. If you have any concerns about a listing, please get in touch with Blog Editor, Emma Nicholls, at

© Horniman Museum and Gardens

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