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Come and join the Natural History team of Te Papa at Tory Street for this Curator’s Pick. What fantastic stories about those species will they share with us?
Hear from Rodrigo Salvador, Mollusc curator (and bird enthusiast), Andrew Stewart, deep sea fish specialist, and insect nerd, Julia Kasper, and see their favourite collection specimens.
You’ll have the opportunity to look closely at the items – really closely as some specimens will be tiny; we’ll have microscopes and some stunning slides on the screen.
Julia says that while it may seem gross to us, insects are fascinating when it comes to human health. Flies, for instance, are beautiful, diverse and useful – you may be surprised once you hear about glow-worms, mosquitoes, bat flies and even houseflies! Take a journey into the past and hear how people have dealt with fleas in the ancient Rome, the rise and fall of bedbugs and life changing discoveries to control pest insects or how to use them to cure our illnesses.
Rodrigo will present his selection, and Andrew will show us the wet collection facility, and showcase a few of the more extreme body shapes developed by deep-sea fishes
Dr Julia Kasper (Lead Curator Invertebrates)
Julia is an entomologist specialised in flies. She studies the taxonomy and distribution of lower Diptera in New Zealand with a strong focus on biosecurity. Her background is in medical and forensic entomology and odour-host recognition of flies using chemical ecological methods. Julia has a strong interest in outreach especially on topics such as medical entomology and freshwater macro-invertebrates.
Rodrigo Salvador (Curator Invertebrates)
Rodrigo is a biologist and palaeontologist specialising in gastropods, particularly land snails and slugs. He is interested in describing the world’s land snails and in understanding their evolutionary relationships, fossil record, and biogeographic history. Rodrigo is also interested in sci comm mixing science and geek culture; he is one of the founders of the Journal of Geek Studies
Andrew Stewart (Assistant Curator Natural History)
Andrew has had a fascination and love of fishes since he was very small. His particular areas of specialisation are the deep-water fishes and Southern Ocean (Antarctic) fishes, but he can cover the full range of species.
Feature image: Detail from: Douglas shell collection drawers, 2008. Photo by Raymond Coory. Te Papa (180024)