It’s Christmas! My last post for 2016

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Sorry I’ve been a bit rubbish about posting recently, I’ve had quite a bit to do. But now it’s time to stop and relax for a little while as it’s Christmas!
Tomorrow I’m going to Southampton for one last day to volunteer at a conference that is currently being hosted by the archaeology department at Southampton university. This is for the TAG conference (Theoretical Archaeology Group) and its the first time I’ve been. There’s quite a bit on including a Christmas market selling books, jewellery, cards and lots of other nice things. There’s also a lot of talks, with multiple sessions running all at once. One of the sessions is for the conference I’m helping to organize, Skeletons, Stories & Social Bodies  and I’m really looking forward to hearing the presentations.
Speaking of SSSB it’s going well. The abstract deadline has now closed and we’ve had plenty of submissions, which means a great amount of talks to select from! We’ve also chosen the workshops, which are varied and sound very interesting. The key note speakers have also been confirmed and announced – and I’m very excited about that! We’ve got Heather Bonney from the Natural History Museum, London and Caroline Wilkinson from Face Lab, based at Liverpool John Moores University. It’s all coming together now and I can’t wait. The only deadline that is left is for art submissions for the exhibition, so if you have any art (or could recommend anyone!) that would fit within the conference give me a shout. I also would like to say thank you to David Mennear for advertising the conference on his blog These Bones of Mine. It’s a great blog covering a range of topics in bioarchaeology, and I strongly recommend visiting!
So why haven’t I been around for a while? Well I’ve been collecting data, so traveling to Winchester for that, volunteering at the Royal College of Surgeons, playing hockey and finishing a draft for my upgrade, which will take place next year. Oh yeah and I also had to prepare a presentation for the TAG conference – my first proper conference! So I’ve been fairly busy but I feel like it’s all going well. But I’m not going to lie I’m very happy it’s Christmas and I can take a break!
I’m off to my mum’s in a few days, then up to the in-laws for Christmas Day. I’m very much looking forward to lots of nice food and drink, some well deserved rest and most importantly lots of family time. So Merry Christmas all, enjoy the holidays and see you in the New Year!

My Trip to the Grant Museum, London

Lion Skeleton at the Grant Museum of Zoology

Lion Skeleton at the Grant Museum of Zoology

Today I had an interview in London and as it was in the morning I thought why not visit a museum on my way home?! I was already coming back on the Northern Line and knew that it went through Euston, where the Grant Museum is located. I have wanted to visit this museum for a while but as it is slightly out of the centre, and the other touristy parts of London I hadn’t managed to make it there yet.

It’s a very cute museum with specimens held in wooden cases which span the wall of the museum. It is only one room, and for the amount of space they have the specimens are shown off very well. There are skeletons, skulls and wet specimens of all sorts of creatures spanning the animal kingdom and of all shapes and sizes. I don’t know if I had a particular favourite but it was pretty awesome that they had a complete skeleton of a dugong. I think one of the most incrediable skulls that i saw was of a domestic pig. It didn’t say the particular breed of pig but it was impressive none the less!

Dugong Skeleton at the Grant Museum of Zoology

Dugong Skeleton at the Grant Museum of Zoology

I took a few photos of some of the specimens which you can find on my tumblr page. I also took some photos of the Micrarium, a small alcove which presents hundreds of microscope slides of the smallest animals. They were wonderful to look at and reminds you of how intricate biology is and how beautiful creatues can be, even if we can barely see them.

I would recommend anyone who has an interest in biology and/or zoology to visit the museum. It’s quiter and smaller than the better known Natural History Museum but it’s just as wonderful!

Visit both my tumblr posts to see pictures of the Micraraium and other speimens in the musem. Hopefully some of them will be featuring in future Skull of the Months!

My trip to the large mammal collection at NHM

So I’ve finally gotten round to writing up what I’ve

My visitors badge from my visit to the large mammal storage collection at NHM

My visitors badge from my visit to the large mammal storage collection at NHM

been doing this last week, including a trip the Natural History Museum’s large mammal storage collection. It was incredible! But if you want to read some more please see my weekly round up from 18th Nov.