Exploration and Examination of Natural History Collections

Thursday, 24 September 2020 at 13:00 

Register for this Zoom Meeting event: http://bit.ly/VirtualSymposium_Exploration_and_Examination

Jofred Opperman, Iziko Collections Manager, takes participants on an online behind-the-scenes tour, exploring the treasures housed in the Iziko South African Museum; join Iziko Curator of Karoo Palaeontology and scientist, Claire Browning, for a virtual showcase of the Boonstra Diaramas; and learn about the importance of the lesser known slimy, segmented monsters called polychaetes – and why they’re important to society at large – with Iziko Curator of Marine Biology, Dylan Clarke.



1Jofred Opperman – Collections Managers 

Overview of Terrestrial Vertebrate Collections at the Iziko South African Museum

Collections form the backbone of any museum, and the data they hold are important to applied biodiversity research and decision making for the benefit of society. Museums are a critical partner in the research value chain, and have a legal mandate to curate and protect these acquired collections and their associated data. Come have a brief behind-the-scenes peek at the mammal, bird and herpetology collections at the Iziko South African Museum founded in 1825.

dClaire Browning – Curator of Karoo Palaeontology

The Boonstra dioramas story told through Digital Preservation

When the iconic Boonstra Diorama exhibition opened in 1959, it was the first of its kind in South Africa to showcase the 270-million year old fossil discoveries of the Karoo in a relatable way to visitors. This space was more than just edu-tainment; it inspired a generation of scientists to uncover more fossils and added to the building blocks of knowledge.  But science moves on and space is needed to highlight recent discoveries that keep museum spaces relevant and accurate. Now, thanks to an ambitious collaborative digital preservation project, the Dioramas are accessible to a wider audience online. Join the webinar with Karoo Palaeontology Curator and research scientist, Claire Browning, to learn more about the dioramas and how you can now explore them in a virtual space.

dDylan Clarke – Curator of Marine Biology

Does size really matter? The little things also count.

When people think about marine biodiversity, they often focus on charismatic animals like whales, dolphins or sharks. This thinking is emphasized even more so when visiting the Iziko South African Museum – which has large, excellent displays on marine vertebrates (those animals with a backbone). Journey with Dylan Clarke as he takes you behind-the-scenes and sheds some light on the collections in Marine Biology – concentrating on the lesser known slimy, segmented monsters called polychaetes, and why they are important to society at large. Dylan will also explain some of the external morphological features that marine taxonomists (scientists who name and describe life on Earth) use to identify and describe them.