Our Natural Sciences staff are experts in Earth Systems, Invertebrates, Palaeobiology and Vertebrate Biology.
Looking for someone? You'll find our staff listed by Collections area below. For general enquiries contact Rachel Russell, Departmental Administrator, on the number or email below.
Specific responsibility: Head of Mineral, Meteorite and Rock collections with particular emphasis on developing our ore mineral and bio-mineral collections.
Research interests: Tectonic geomorphology, calcite morphology, geo-biology interactions, and tracing historical collections.
Specific responsibility: Curation of the mineral, meteorite and gem collections, XRD and FTIR analysis.
Research interests/expertise: Mineralogy, meteorites, topographical mineralogy, the history of National Museums Scotland and its mineral collections, the use of minerals as paints and pigments, the application of x-ray diffraction analysis, mineralogical etymology.
Specific responsibility: Providing curatorial support across Earth Systems. Working particularly with the gemstone collection and auditing the mineral collection.
Research interests: Gemmology, copper mineralisation, granite petrogenesis and the use of stable isotopes, particularly copper, as tracers of provenance in minerals and rocks.
Specific responsibility: Providing analytical support to Earth Systems. Analysing geological specimens with techniques such as XRD, SEM, and FTIR.
Research interests: Igneous petrology, volcanology, the geology of Scotland’s volcanic districts.
Specific responsibility: Head of Invertebrate collections. Curation and development of the collection of marine and terrestrial invertebrates, including insects.
Research interests/expertise: Taxonomy of fungus gnats (Diptera: Sciaroidea); systematics, phylogeny and palaeontology of true flies (Insecta: Diptera); biodiversity informatics.
Specific responsibility: Curation and development of the collections of marine invertebrates including Porifera, Cnidaria, Crustacea, Bryozoa, Echinodermata and Tunicata; research loans and enquiries.
Research interests/expertise: Development of the collections of Scottish marine invertebrates; taxonomy and biogeography of benthic harpacticoid copepods; subterranean biology and the ecology of invertebrates inhabiting terrestrial cave environments.
Specific responsibility: Curation and collection development of Mollusca and brachiopod collections (worldwide).
Research interests/expertise: Taxonomy and biogeography of the British Hydrobiidae (mud snails). Ecologically orientated work has included studies of the distribution of the molluscan faunas around Britain.
Specific responsibility: Curation and development of the insect collections; research loans and enquiries.
Research interests/expertise: Development of the collections of British insects; Coleoptera (especially Silphidae – carrion beetles); science communication.
Specific responsibility: Curation of fossil vertebrate collections, especially Palaeozoic fish and early tetrapods.
Research interests/expertise: Vertebrate palaeoneurology (especially birds), avian palaeontology and evolution, vertebrate taphonomy, micro-CT techniques and quantitative approaches for investigating vertebrate skeletal shape variation.
Specific responsibility: Curation of fossil invertebrate and plant collections with particular responsibilities for fossil Brachiopoda.
Research interests/expertise: Brachiopoda taxonomy; biodiversification and biogeography of the Ordovician marine faunas; Cladistical analysis of the Strophomenida brachiopods.
Specific responsibility: Curation of fossil invertebrate and plant collections with particular responsibilities for fossil mollusca.
Research interests/expertise: Geology, stratigraphy and palaeontology of the Girvan district, Scotland. 'Neglected' and/or problematic fossil taxa (groups).
Specific responsibility: The preparation and conservation of specimens for inclusion in our galleries, temporary or permanent exhibitions, and for research.
Research interests/expertise: Anoxic environment techniques to improve the life of collections, adhesives, and how to improve the packing of collections to be stored and handled effectively.
Research interests/expertise: Vertebrate palaeontology. Triassic terrestrial ecosystems; anatomy, systematics, ecology, and macroevolution of Mesozoic marine reptiles using micro-CT techniques, biomechanics, quantitative multivariate analyses.
Responsible for: The Natural Sciences department, its staff, collections and projects.
Research interests/expertise: Early Mesozoic terrestrial and marine ecosystems; phylogeny and systematics of Rhynchocephalia and Protorosauria; global faunal and floral change across the Triassic-Jurassic boundary.
Specific responsibility: Head of Birds, Mammals and Taxidermy. Curation and development of bird and mammal collections, especially carnivores (felids, mustelids), marine mammals and ungulates.
Research interests/expertise: Hybridisation between native and introduced mammal species, geographical variation and the effects of captivity on mammal and bird skeletal morphology, including ageing and pathology, faunal change and zooarchaeology of Scotland.
Specific responsibility: Curation of bird collections, including skins, eggs and skeletons.
Research interests/expertise: His main interests lie in the history of collections, bird egg collections and the comprehensive archives of the Scottish naturalist J.A. Harvie-Brown (1844-1916).
Specific responsibility: Curation of mammal collections, especially cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises), small mammals (mice, voles, shrews).
Research interests/expertise: Molecular evolution, intraspecific variation, biogeography and archaeology of Eurasian mammals, especially rodents and cetaceans.
Specific responsibility: Curation of the vertebrate collections.
Research interests/expertise: Vertebrate biology and collections care.
Specific responsibility: Curation of the vertebrate collections, in particular assisting in the curation of collections used in the Do Not Feed The Animals project funded by the Wellcome Trust.
Research interests/expertise: Palaeozoology, vertebrate morphology of fossil South American ungulates and birds, and collections care.
Specific responsibility: Development of the Edinburgh Biobank hub across BBSRC funded CRYOARKS and European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) biobank initiatives.
Research interests/expertise: Conservation genetic and genomic analysis; Development of DNA-based laboratory protocols for informing population conservation management; DNA/tissue sample storage and archive.
Specific responsibility: Postdoctoral Researcher on the Wellcome Trust Project: From ‘Feed the Birds’ to ‘Do Not Feed the Animals’.
Research interests/expertise: Vertebrate morphometric analysis, biogeography and Geographical Information Science (GIS)
Specific responsibility: Preparation of animal specimens for study and basic curation of vertebrates.
Research interests: Taxonomy, systematics and biogeography of Central American lower vertebrates and insects.
Specific responsibility: Preparation of non-passerine birds and small mammals.
Research interests/expertise: Bird and small mammal taxidermy as well as the preparation of skeletal material.
Specific responsibility: Assisting curators and taxidermists with exhibitions preparation and upkeep.
Expertise: Preparation of bird and mammal skeletal specimens.