Author Archives: Jade Cawthray

About Jade Cawthray

Hi, I'm the Science Community Coordinator for SYNTHESYS, at the Natural History Museum, London. My role involves the development and delivery of crowdsourcing projects for Museums across Europe.

Going digital! New crowdsourcing project launched | Miniature Lives Magnified

Be a digital volunteer for the Museum and help transcribe scientific data from microscope slides… We are so very excited to launch our latest citizen science project Miniature Lives Magnified.

As part of our Digital Collections Programme,  we have imaged 100,000 microscope slides of some of the world’s smallest insects and we need your help to unlock the data from the specimen labels, so that we can uncover more of nature’s secrets.

Rectangular glass microscope slide, with old handwritten labels.

Spot the wasp: we have 6,000 microscope slides of Chalcid wasps, that we would like you to help us to transcribe data from.

In partnership with our good friends from the online crowdsourcing platform Notes from Nature, today we launch our first collection called ‘The killer within: wasps but not as you know them’.

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Get Digging! New Citizen Science Project Launched | Earthworm Watch

A brand new citizen science project from the Museum and Earthwatch Institute is inviting you to get digging to explore the underground world of earthworms. By taking part in Earthworm Watch, you’ll be contributing to world class research into soil health.

A smiling Lucy Robinson holding three earthworms in the palms of her hands, in a wildlife garden.

Lucy Robinson, Citizen Science Manager, getting hands on with earthworms in the Museum’s wildlife garden.

Taking part is easy. Choose your garden, a local park, allotment, school grounds or a nature reserve as your study site, grab a trowel and a free survey pack and you’re ready to go.

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‘The bacteria on our buildings.’ An interview with Dr Anne Jungblut | The Microverse

Are the bacteria found on our UK buildings dangerous and what impact do they have? In this the third and final podcast in our series interviewing Dr Anne Jungblut, the lead researcher of our citizen science project The Microverse, we find out about the initial results of the project.

In the podcast questions posed by participating students from The Long Eaton School, Nottingham, and Prospect School, Reading, are presented to Anne.

Two female staff rub cotton wool swabs across the surface of a stone wall.

Museum staff collecting a sample from one of the iconic buildings of London

Produced by Olivia Philipps and Caroline Steel. With thanks to Long Eaton School and Prospect School for contributing questions. And thanks to Helen Steel for reading the questions on their behalf.

You can hear more from Anne and more about the project in the first and second podcasts.

 

‘Why is it important to study microorganisms?’ An interview with Dr Anne Jungblut | The Microverse

In the second of three podcasts produced by Science Communication students Olivia Philipps and Caroline Steel, we find out more from Dr Anne Jungblut about the results of The Microverse project, and why it’s important to study microorganisms.

In the podcasts, Olivia and Caroline pose questions asked by students from The Long Eaton School, Nottingham, and Prospect School, Reading, who participated in the project.

136 Askham Bryansmall

Students from Askham Bryan College, York, collecting samples for The Microverse project.

 

Produced by Olivia Philipps and Caroline Steel. With thanks to Long Eaton School and Prospect School for contributing questions. And thanks to Helen Steel for reading the questions on their behalf.

If you missed it, listen to the first podcast here and watch this space for the third and final podcast, where we’ll find out about the types of organisms found through the research.

On the inside of the stranded sperm whales | Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme

Following the stranding of a number of sperm whales on the English coast last weekend, scientists from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Museum visited Lincolnshire from Monday 25 January to conduct autopsies on the dead leviathans.

Beach with large whale laid out on sand, surrounded by people, with the north sea behind.

A sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) that had washed up at Skegness, Lincolnshire, around 23 January 2016

I interviewed Rebecca Lyal, Cetacean Stranding Support Officer of the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP), to find out what the autopsies have revealed thus far about the cause of death.

Rebecca, how do you go about assessing the cause of death of whales?

That can be done by looking at the recent movement of the whales, where they have come from and what their behaviour has been and then, once we’d deduced that they didn’t strand because they had got caught in a net, or had any wounds that may have made them unable to swim, we can start looking a bit deeper. This is when we started to take samples of the skin, the blubber, reading the blubber thickness, and then muscles and blood.

[Warning: readers may find the images that follow in this post upsetting.]

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‘Doesn’t it get a bit boring always looking down a microscope?’ An interview with Dr Anne Jungblut | The Microverse

To kick start our Citizen Science blog for 2016, Olivia Philipps and Caroline Steel, Science Communication students from Imperial College London, have produced a series of three podcasts interviewing Dr. Anne Jungblut, the lead researcher of The Microverse project.

In the podcasts, Olivia and Caroline pose questions asked by students from The Long Eaton School, Nottingham, and Prospect School, Reading, who participated in the project.

Photo showing Anne sitting collecting a water sample from beside a lake in Antarctica, with three penguins in the background

Anne Jungblut collecting microbial samples in Antarctica

In this first one we find out what inspired Anne to pursue a career in microbial research:

Produced by Olivia Philipps and Caroline Steel. With thanks to The Long Eaton School for contributing questions and Helen Steel for posing them to Anne on their behalf.

Watch this space for the second in this series of podcasts, where we’ll find out about the results of The Microverse project.

If you go down to the beach today | Big Seaweed Search

This week HLF Identification Trainer of the Future, Anthony Roach, introduces us to the marvellous diversity of seaweeds on Britain’s shores and shows you how you can contribute to citizen science by recording them as part of the Big Seaweed Search.

Seaweeds are incredibly diverse and beautiful organisms. They are strong biological indicators of the health of our environment and play an important role in the marine and coastal environment, despite being perceived by some as drab, slimy, green and brown sludge hanging from the rocks or smelly dried husks that litter the high tide mark. The Museum’s seaweed researchers and staff at the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity are therefore encouraging everyone to learn more about seaweeds, to map their diversity and assess how they are responding to climate change through the Big Seaweed Search.

Photo of Anthony stood on rocky shore by the sea, holding a large, long, brown seaweed in two hands.

Anthony Roach searching for seaweeds, holding sugar kelp. © Holly Morgenroth.

I grew up near the coast in Devon and I certainly over-looked seaweeds when whiling away countless hours rock pooling. I would slip and slide my way over seaweed covered rocks in search of the jazzier or more colourful marine stars of the rock pool such as crabs, starfish, sea anemones and blennies. I have discovered however that there is so much more to seaweeds than at first meets the eye.

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