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Mouse Molars

Dr Jerry Herman

Dr Jerry Herman
Senior Curator of Mammals
Specific responsibility: Curation of mammal collections, especially mice, voles, shrews.
Research interests/expertise: Molecular evolution, intraspecific variation, biogeography and archaeology of Eurasian mammals, especially rodents and cetaceans.

Jerry Herman is Senior Curator of Vertebrates and specialises in mammals.

Dr Herman first studied botany at the University of Edinburgh and has a PhD in biology from the University of York. He spent a year working in the palaeontology section of the Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, but joined National Museums Scotland in 1984 and has been here ever since.

He is mainly interested in the recent evolution and biogeography of wild mammals, especially some of the more common species of mice and voles. He is using molecular genetic and morphological variation in their populations to gain insights into the evolutionary process and their changing geographical distributions. He is also interested in the past and present interactions of these species with human populations.

His research is focused on mammals found in the British Isles, mainland Europe, Türkiye and the Near East and he works with collaborators in many countries, including France, Poland, Türkiye and the US. 

Ongoing projects include:

  • Genetic variation in small mammals from Europe, Türkiye and surrounding areas.
  • Evolution of morphological characters in mice and voles from the British Isles and western Europe.
  • Ecology and human interactions of small mammals from Neolithic and more recent archaeological sites in Orkney and the Near East.

Romaniuk, A.A., Troalen, L.G., Bendrey, R., Herman, J.S., Owen, O., Smith, C. 2023. Pests or prey? Micromammal species within an ancient anthropic environment at the Norse settlement site of Tuquoy (Westray, Orkney). Royal Society Open Science 10: 221462.

Bendrey, R., Van Neer, W., Bailon, S., Rofes, J., Herman, J., Morlin, M. & Moore, T. 2020. Animal remains and human-animal-environment relationships at Early Neolithic Bestansur and Shimshara. In: Matthews, R., Matthews, W., Raheem, K. & Richardson, A. (eds.). The Early Neolithic of the Eastern Fertile Crescent: Excavations at Bestansur and Shimshara, Iraqi Kurdistan. Central Zagros Archaeological Project Reports Vol. 2: 311-352. Oxford & Philadelphia: Oxbow Books.

Herman, J.S., Stojak, J., Paupério, J., Jaarola, M., Wójcik, J.M., Searle, J.B. 2019. Genetic variation in field voles (Microtus agrestis) from the British Isles: selective sweeps or population bottlenecks? Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.

Buckley, M., Herman, J. 2019. Species identification of Late Pleistocene bat bones using collagen fingerprinting. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology

Fletcher, N.K., Acevedo, P., Herman, J.S., Paupério, J., Alves, P.C., Searle, J.B. 2019. Glacial cycles drive rapid divergence of cryptic field vole species. Ecology and Evolution

Arslan, Y., Demırtaş, S., Herman, J.S., Pustilnik, J.D., Searle, J.B. and Gündüz, İ. 2019. The Anatolian glacial refugium and human-mediated colonization: a phylogeographical study of the stone marten (Martes foina) in Turkey. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society  

Herman J.S., Jóhannesdóttir F., Jones E.P., McDevitt  A.D., Michaux J.R., White T.A., Wójcik J.M., Searle J.B. 2016. Post-glacial colonization of Europe by the wood mouse, Apodemus sylvaticus: evidence of a northern refugium and dispersal with humans. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.

Romaniuk A.A., Shepherd A.N., Clarke D.V., Sheridan J.A., Fraser S., Bartosiewicz L., Herman J.S. 2016. Rodents: food or pests in Neolithic Orkney. Royal Society Open Science 3.

Herman, J.S., McDevitt, A.D., Kawałko, A., Jaarola, M., Wójcik, J.M., Searle, J.B. 2014. Land-bridge calibration of molecular clocks and the post-glacial colonization of Scandinavia by the Eurasian field vole Microtus agrestis. PLoS ONE 9 (8).

Herman, J.S. & Searle, J.B. 2011. Post-glacial partitioning of mitochondrial genetic variation in the field vole. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 278: 3601-3607.

For further publications see the National Museums Scotland Research Repository.

St Kilda 1


Discover the mammals of St Kilda with our Senior Curator of Vertebrates, Jerry Herman.

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