Welcome to The Natural History Museum repository

The Natural History Museum is an international leader in the study of the natural world. Our science describes the diversity of nature, promotes an understanding of its past, and supports the anticipation and management of the impact of human activity on the environment.

The Museum's repository provides free access to publications produced by more than 300 scientists working here. Researchers at the Museum study a diverse range of issues, including threats to Earth's biodiversity, the maintenance of delicate ecosystems, environmental pollution and disease. The accessible repository showcases this broad research output.

The repository was launched in 2016 with an initially modest number of journal publications in its database. It now includes book chapters and blogs from Museum scientists.

Select a community to browse its collections.

  • Range extension of the Macroglossum pyrrhosticta Butler, 1875, in Northwestern India (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae)

    Farooqui, Shahabab A; Kitching, I; Parwez, Hina; Joshi, Rahul (Sociedad Hispano-Luso-Americana de Lepidopterologia, 2022-12-30)
    <During a faunistic survey of Lepidoptera in Sasni (27.7063º N, 78.0823º E; 181 m), Uttar Pradesh, a specimen of Macroglossum pyrrhosticta Butler, 1875, was collected and thus the species reported for the first time from the Gangetic Plains Biogeographic Zone of India, as well as North-West India as a whole. Details of the known larval host plants of M. pyrrhosticta are also provided, together with a checklist of the Indian species of genus Macroglossum Scopoli, 1777.
  • The Big Seaweed Search: Evaluating a citizen science project for a difficult to identify group of organisms

    Brodie, J; Kunzig, Sarah; Agate, Jules; Yesson, Chris; Robinson, Lucy (Wiley, 2023-01-04)
    1. The Big Seaweed Search invites people to survey UK seashores for 14 conspicuous seaweeds. The science investigates: (i) impact of sea temperature rise; (ii) spread of non-native species; and (iii) impact of ocean acidification. Survey data submitted between June 2016 and May 2020 were analysed to evaluate and explore project directions in relation to citizen science project development. 2. Of the 378 surveys submitted, 1,414 people participated, contributing 1,531 person hours. Surveys were undertaken around the UK, with the highest proportion (46.7%) in the south west and the lowest (3.7%) in the north east. After data verification, 1,007 (54%) records were accepted. Fucus serratus had the highest number of entries correctly identified (66%) and Undaria pinnatifida the lowest (5%), inferring that at least some seaweeds can be difficult to identify, although the overall misidentification rate was relatively low (c. 15%). 3. Apart from Alaria esculenta, U. pinnatifida and Saccharina latissima, the large brown seaweeds were abundant on at least some shores. Non-natives Sargassum muticum and Asparagopsis armata, were band-forming but in low numbers. Coralline algae, whilst band-forming on some shores, were most commonly patchy or sparse in abundance. Revisits, i.e. repeat surveys, at the same site with an interval of at least 1 year, are relatively low, with 18 sites revisited once and three sites revisited twice. 4. Currently, data are insufficient to determine whether any changes in abundance could be detected. 5. This study highlights areas where project developments can enhance data quality and quantity, e.g. better identification resources, training programmes for dedicated volunteers, and an annual focus week of activities. The project framed around climate change impacts, aims to raise awareness of the ecological importance of, and threats faced by, this understudied habitat and introduce conservation concepts including the need to protect common species showing signs of decline.
  • Land use and soil characteristics affect soil organisms differently from above-ground assemblages

    Burton, VJ; Contu, Sara; De Palma, A; Hill, Samantha LL; Albrecht, Harald; Bone, James S; Carpenter, Daniel; Corstanje, Ronald; De Smedt, Pallieter; Farrell, Mark; et al. (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-11-17)
    Background Land-use is a major driver of changes in biodiversity worldwide, but studies have overwhelmingly focused on above-ground taxa: the effects on soil biodiversity are less well known, despite the importance of soil organisms in ecosystem functioning. We modelled data from a global biodiversity database to compare how the abundance of soil-dwelling and above-ground organisms responded to land use and soil properties. Results We found that land use affects overall abundance differently in soil and above-ground assemblages. The abundance of soil organisms was markedly lower in cropland and plantation habitats than in primary vegetation and pasture. Soil properties influenced the abundance of soil biota in ways that differed among land uses, suggesting they shape both abundance and its response to land use. Conclusions Our results caution against assuming models or indicators derived from above-ground data can apply to soil assemblages and highlight the potential value of incorporating soil properties into biodiversity models.
  • What’s the catch with lumpsuckers? A North Atlantic study of seabird bycatch in lumpsucker gillnet fisheries

    Christensen-Dalsgaard, Signe; Anker-Nilssen, Tycho; Crawford, Rory; Bond, AL; Sigurðsson, Guðjón Már; Glemarec, Gildas; Hansen, Erpur Snær; Kadin, Martina; Kindt-Larsen, Lotte; Mallory, Mark; et al. (Elsevier BV, 2019-12)
    Worldwide, incidental bycatch in fisheries is a conservation threat to many seabird species. Although knowledge on bycatch of seabirds has increased in the last decade, most stems from longline fisheries and the impacts of coastal gillnet fisheries are poorly understood. Gillnet fishing for North Atlantic lumpsucker (Cyclopterus lumpus) is one such fishery. We collated and synthesized the available information on seabird bycatch in lumpsucker gillnet fisheries across the entire geographical range to estimate and infer the magnitude of their impact on the affected seabird populations. Most birds killed were diving ducks, cormorants and auks, and each year locally high numbers of seabirds were taken as bycatch. We found large differences in bycatch rates among countries. The estimated mean bycatch in Iceland was 2.43 birds/trip, while the estimates in Norway was 0.44 and 0.39 birds/trip, respectively. The large disparities between estimates might reflect large spatial differences in bycatch rates, but could partly also arise due to distinctions in data recorded by onboard inspectors (Iceland), selfadministered registration (Norway) and direct observations by cameras (Denmark). We show that lumpsucker gillnet fisheries might pose a significant risk to some populations of diving seabirds. However, a distinct data deficiency on seabird bycatch in terms of spatio-temporal coverage and the age and origins of the birds killed, limited our abilities to fully assess the extent and population consequences of the bycatch. Our results highlight the need for a joint effort among countries to standardize monitoring methods to better document the impact of these fisheries on seabirds.
  • Important marine areas for the conservation of northern rockhopper penguins within the Tristan da Cunha Exclusive Economic Zone

    Steinfurth, A; Oppel, S; Dias, MP; Starnes, T; Pearmain, EJ; Dilley, BJ; Davies, D; Nydegger, M; Bell, C; Le Bouard, F; et al. (Inter-Research Science Center, 2020-12-03)
    The designation of Marine Protected Areas has become an important approach to conserving marine ecosystems that relies on robust information on the spatial distribution of biodiversity. We used GPS tracking data to identify marine Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) for the Endangered northern rockhopper penguin Eudyptes moseleyi within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic. Penguins were tracked throughout their breeding season from 3 of the 4 main islands in the Tristan da Cunha group. Foraging trips remained largely within the EEZ, with the exception of those from Gough Island during the incubation stage. We found substantial variability in trip duration and foraging range among breeding stages and islands, consistent use of areas among years and spatial segregation of the areas used by neighbouring islands. For colonies with no or insufficient tracking data, we defined marine IBAs based on the mean maximum foraging range and merged the areas identified to propose IBAs around the Tristan da Cunha archipelago and Gough Island. The 2 proposed marine IBAs encompass 2% of Tristan da Cunha’s EEZ, and are used by all northern rockhopper penguins breeding in the Tristan da Cunha group, representing ~90% of the global population. Currently, one of the main threats to northern rockhopper penguins within the Tristan da Cunha EEZ is marine pollution from shipping, and the risk of this would be reduced by declaring waters within 50 nautical miles of the coast as ‘areas to be avoided’.

View more