Name: Ben Price
Job: Senior curator at the Natural History Museum in London.
Source: eLife [original post from August 2016]
How did your PhD and postdoc positions help you develop the skills that a curator needs?
Specimen identification and handling skills are critical to my job and these were developed in my undergraduate and graduate training. The conferences I presented at during my postgraduate positions helped develop my presentation skills which are useful when I give talks to the public or at research conferences. My postgraduate studies were funded through competitive scholarships which meant I was able to develop my grant writing skills with the help of my supervisors. As funding for research becomes increasingly competitive these skills are critical.
What are your main responsibilities as senior curator?
I’m responsible for safeguarding almost 350,000 specimens that make up the Odonata and Small Orders collections [examples of insects in these groups include dragonflies, mayflies, caddisflies and lacewings] and providing researchers from around the globe with access to these specimens. There are also quite a few cross-departmental activities in which I take part, an example being the museum’s ambitious goal to digitise 25% of our collections (20 million specimens) over five years, where I am responsible for implementing unique identifiers (barcodes) across the museum to support this project.
Read the rest at eLife.