Dr Jerry Herman

Dr Jerry Herman
Senior Curator of Mammals
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.
E: j.herman@nms.ac.uk

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

Dr Herman has a BScHons in botany from the University of Edinburgh, Postgraduate Certificate in museum studies from the University of Leicester, Master of Science in environmental assessment from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and 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 the mammal section at National Museums Scotland in 1984 and has been here ever since.

Dr Herman is nowadays most interested in the evolution and biogeography of wild mammals, especially some of the more common species of mice and voles. He is using molecular genetic data, from DNA sequencing, to examine variation in populations of these animals from the British Isles and further afield in Europe and western Asia. He hopes to gain insights into the evolutionary process, particularly the nature and timing of genetic change, and find out more about their spread across the continent after the last ice age.

Dr Herman is also interested in the ecology, distribution and archaeology of the cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) that inhabit the seas around Britain. He has been involved closely with the UK marine mammal strandings project and the development of a truly world-class research collection of cetaceans here at National Museums Scotland.

Current research collaborators include:

  • Professor Jeremy Searle, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA.
  • Professor Jan Wójcik and Dr Joanna Stojak, Polish Academy of Sciences, Białowieża, Poland.
  • Professor Paulo Célio Alves and Dr Joana Paupério, University of Porto, Portugal.

Ten Selected Publications

  1. 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.
  2. 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. https://doi.org/10.1093/biolinnean/bly213.
  3. Buckley, M., Herman, J. 2019. Species identification of Late Pleistocene bat bones using collagen fingerprinting. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. https://doi.org/10.1002/oa.2818
  4. 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. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.5846.
  5. 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. https://doi.org/10.1093/biolinnean/blz180.  
  6. García-Rodríguez, O., Andreou, D., Herman, J.S., Mitsainas, G.P., Searle, J.B., Bonhomme, F.,   Hadjisterkotis, E., Schutkowski, H., Stafford, R., Stewart, J.R., Hardouin, E.A. 2018. Cyprus as an ancient hub for house mice and humans. Journal of Biogeography. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13458.
  7. 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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bij.12882.
  8. 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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.160514.
  9. 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). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0103949.
  10. 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. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2011.0321.

For further publications see: National Museums Scotland Research Repository.

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

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