Curating the Past, Creating the Future: Legacies in Biological Recording

NFBR Conference Curating the Past, Creating the Future Promo Image

If you love wildlife and want to know how species observations can be used, this conference will showcase some of the fantastic projects and biological recording initiatives happening across the UK.

The National Forum for Biological Recording is an independant voice for those involved with biological recording in the UK. They promote and influence the development, use, management and dissemination of biodiversity information and biological records. And in the process, they bring together recorders, schemes, societies, data managers, record centres and biodiversity data users.

The Field Studies Council has teamed up with NFBR and the University of Oxford Museum of Natural History for this year's conference, covering a very interesting topic.

Bee Museum Collection

Curating the Past, Creating the Future: Legacies in Biological Recording

The theme of this year's conference is the legacies created by biological recording. From safeguarding historic specimen collections to dealing with personal photographs, it aims to cover various aspects of usefully preserving biological recording outputs for present and future generations.

There are some fantastic talks on projects that I've personally been involved in, including:

  • The DECIDE Project - Is looking at how existing biological recording data can be used to inform biological recorders on where there is a lack of existing data and how to prioritise where to record next. This project, from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, is using butterfly records as a pilot and has the potential to change the way in which we advise volunteer recorders where to concentrate their efforts.
  • Supporting Science Project - Butterfly Conservation are looking at how they can simplify recording efforts and data flow pathways to bring together all of the different butterfly and moth datasets in a way that benefits data user, recorders and verifiers. The BioLinks butterfly and moth iRecord courses are a part of this project.
  • Carrion Beetle Recording - Ashleigh Whiffin has delivered a fantastic Natural history Live talk for us previously - so I can assure you from personal experience that her talk is not one to be missed!
  • Darwin Tree of Life Project - Liam Crowley will be reporting on this ambitious project that aims to sequence the genomes of all 70,000 forms of eukaryotic life within the UK. I've been to Whytham Woods with Liam to help out with the earthworms, so it will be great to hear about the other invertebrate groups that Liam has been working on.

The main event will be held over two days, the 5th and 6th of May, with the additional option of a field trip on Saturday the 7th of May.

You can attend the main events at the University of Oxford Museum of Natural History or live stream it from the comfort of your own home – although if you attend in person, you get a behind the scenes tour of the museum!

Get your ticket here.

NFBR Conference 2022 Promo Image

Day 1: Thursday 5th May

Live-streamed and at the University of Oxford Museum of Natural History

14:00 Welcome - Sarah Whild, NFBR
14:10 From Museum to Moth Trap: following in the footsteps of an Edwardian Entomologist - Katty Baird, National Museums Scotland
15:00 Recording nature where it matters: The DECIDE Project for precision citizen science - Michael Pocock, CEH
15:20 Comfort break
15:35 Supporting Science - A small project with a big ambition to smooth the flow of Lepidoptera data - Rachel Conway, Butterfly Conservation
15:55 Giving nature a number - Ian Taylor, NatureMetrics
16:15 DNA, genomes, and biological recording - Liam Crowley, Darwin Tree of Life
16:35 Digitising the archive - Henrietta Pringle, TVERC
16:55 Closing Remarks - Steve Prentice, NFBR
17:00 Close of Day One
17:15 Museum Tour (in person only)

Day 2: Friday 6th May

Live-streamed and at the University of Oxford Museum of Natural History

10:00 Welcome - Elaine Wright, NFBR
10:05 You Can't Take It With You: the problem with personal collections and what to do with them - Sarah Whild, BSBI
10:25 Recording the immature stages of British and Irish Butterflies - Peter Eeles, UK Butterflies
11:15 Break
11:45 Waking the Dead: promoting and recording Carrion beetles - Ashleigh Whiffin, National Museums Scotland
12:05 The role of photography in Biological Recording - Penny Metal
12:25 Deep data sharing: proactively decolonising natural science collections - Rebecca Machin, Leeds Museums and Galleries
12:45 NFBR AGM
13:10 Closing Remarks for online participants - Sarah Whild, NFBR
13:15 Lunch
14:15 Workshop session (in person only)

  • Workshop A: Making reference collections today - Zoe Simmons, UONHM
  • Workshop B: Curating photos for biological recording - Martin Harvey, CEH

15:00 Workshop conclusions
15:15 Closing Remarks for in person participants - Sarah Whild, NFBR
15:30 Close of conference

Get your ticket here

Museum Collection

Day 3: Optional Field Trip to Wytham Woods

Wytham Woods is an iconic location, a Site of Scientific Interest and one that has hosted ecological studies since the 1940s. It is comprised of ancient semi-natural woodland, secondary woodland, modern plantations and limestone grassland (among other niches).

It has been maintained and owned by the University of Oxford since 1942, and it is exceptionally rich in flora and fauna. We are excited to visit and hope you can join us! Watch the video below to peak into the woodland...

We can't wait and we hope you like the sound of the event! Get your ticket here and we look forward to seeing you there!