This podcast series presents recordings of talks given at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History as part of its public programme of events. The Museum of Natural History was founded in 1860, and today it holds an internationally significant collection of natural history specimens and archives. Housed in a stunning neo-Gothic building inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites, the Museum is home to a lively programme of research, teaching and public events.
Of parasites, dinosaurs, and other model animals
Elaine Charwat has been on a journey into the attic storerooms behind the scenes of the Museum to discover 19th-century wax models of parasites. Join doctoral researcher Elaine Charwat on a journey into the attic storerooms behind the scenes of Oxford University Museum of Natural History to discover 19th century wax models of parasites and hear about parasites models in science past and present.
Meet Mark Carnall, Zoology Collections Manager at the OUMNH, who talks about the differences between models and the thousands of specimens he looks after, and Dr Péter Molnár, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Toronto, who offers important insights into current research using mathematical models.
Different types of models and replicas are everywhere in the museum, and they tell us much about the organisms they represent or reconstruct, but even more about processes in research and science. Made to communicate and produce data, these larger-than-life objects are as fascinating as their subjects!
Elaine Charwat is a Arts and Humanities Research Council doctoral researcher and this podcast was produced as part of her research programme.
When Life Got Hard
In this podcast episode Museum research fellow Dr Duncan Murdock talks about the first animals to build skeletons, and what they did with them. Half a billion years ago a bewildering array of animals evolved, bristling with shells, teeth and spines during a Cambrian explosion of skeletons. Dr Murdock will explain the who, what, when and how of when life got hard for animals, and the world changed forever.
Dr Duncan Murdock is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Dr Murdock’s research is focused on using the fossil record to understand the early evolution of skeletons in animals. He uses high magnification electron microscopes and 3D X-ray imaging to study microscopic skeletal elements and determine the environmental and developmental drivers of biomineralisation in animals. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
The Gut-Brain Axis and How What We Eat Affects How We Feel
For Brain Awareness Week, Dr Phil Burnet (Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford) speaks about how the gut microbiome can affect mood and mental health. Part of the Bacterial World exhibition programme (www.oum.oxac.uk/bacterialworld). Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/