The Vertebrate Biology collections comprise more than 200,000 specimens from around the world, including skins, skeletons, eggs, nests, wet specimens, tissue samples, fossils and archaeological remains.

The Vertebrate Biology collections comprise more than 200,000 specimens from around the world, including skins, skeletons, eggs, nests, wet specimens, tissue samples, fossils and archaeological remains.

Collections

We continue to develop our collections so that they remain relevant for research today and into the future.  However, historical collections allow researchers to look back into the past with new techniques to extract DNA or measure levels of stable isotopes to see how species have changed over time.

The collections are used by our staff and visiting researchers, for studies on anatomy, functional morphology, geographical variation, phylogeography, hybridisation, conservation biology and animal welfare.

You can find out more about our main collections here:

Staff

Dr Andrew Kitchener: Principal Curator, Vertebrate Biology

Andrew KitchenerSpecific responsibility: Head of Birds, Mammals and Taxidermy. Curation and development of bird and mammal collections, especially carnivores (felids, mustelids), marine mammals and ungulates. Exhibition development.
Research interest/expertise: Hybridisation (cross-breeding) between native and introduced mammal species, geographical variation (including biogeography) and the effects of captivity on mammal and bird skeletal morphology, including ageing and pathology, faunal change and zooarchaeology of Scotland.
Email: a.kitchener@nms.ac.uk

You can find out more about Dr Andrew Kitchener here.


Bob McGowan: Senior Curator, Birds

Bob McGowanSpecific responsibility: Curation of bird collections, including skins, eggs and skeletons.
Research interest/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).
Email: b.mcgowan@nms.ac.uk

You can find out more about Bob McGowan here.


Dr Jerry Herman: Senior Curator, Mammals

Jerry HermanSpecific responsibility: Curation of mammal collections, especially cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises), small mammals (mice, voles, shrews).
Research interest/expertise: Molecular evolution, intraspecific variation, biogeography and archaeology of Eurasian mammals, especially rodents and cetaceans.
Email: j.herman@nms.ac.uk

You can find out more about Dr Jerry Herman here.


Zena Timmons: Assistant Curator, Vertebrate Biology

Zena Timmons

Specific responsibility: Curation of the vertebrate collections.
Research interest/expertise: Vertebrate biology and collections care.
Email: z.timmons@nms.ac.uk 


Alan Lothian: Laboratory Assistant, Taxidermy

Alan LothianSpecific Responsibility: Assisting curators and taxidermists with exhibitions preparation and upkeep.
Expertise: Preparation of bird and mammal skeletal specimens.
Email: a.lothian@nms.ac.uk


Georg Hantke: Curatorial Preparator

Georg HantkeSpecific 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.
Email: g.hantke@nms.ac.uk


Stephen Rodger: Curatorial Preparator

Stephen RodgerResponsible for: Preparation of non-passerine birds and small mammals.
Research interest/expertise: Bird and small mammal taxidermy as well as the preparation of skeletal material.
Email: s.rodger@nms.ac.uk

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