30 March 2010 by Lisa
Here is Curator of Vertebrate Zoology, Clem Fisher, to tell us about the World Museum’s latest live video link up with down under…
I presented a talk at the Museum & Art Gallery Northern Territory, Australia recently and still got home to Liverpool in time for tea! New Media Manager, Phil Phillips, had set up a video link for me as part of the Australian launch of my 360 page monograph on vertebrate zoology specimens collected at Port Essington, Cobourg Peninsula, on the north coast of Australia. The monograph is based on manuscripts written by the English collector John Gilbert. He visited Port Essington from 1840-1841 and collected hundreds of specimens there, many which were new to science. A good number of these are now in World Museum, along with specimens collected at Port Essington by the 13th Earl of Derby’s collector, John MacGillivray.
Port Essington, founded in 1838, was the first base of the British Navy in north Australia, from where the British were able to annex the whole continent. It was nearer Singapore than Sydney. The site is also important from the natural history point of view, as more than 8% of all forms of Australian birds and mammals were first collected there.
I have been working on the life of John Gilbert for 35 years, which is two years longer than he was alive. About 50 people attended the talk in Australia, including Hugo Leschen, the Director of Museums, Arts and Culture in the Northern Territory. I was pleased to hear many voices of support for the ongoing work on this project.
Below you can see me onscreen in Liverpool (with a type specimen of the Gouldian Finch from our collections) and the editor of the monograph, MAGNT curator Richard Willan in Darwin, Australia.
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