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Emma-Louise Nicholls

Emma-Louise Nicholls has been Deputy Keeper of Natural History at the Horniman since July 2016, managing the osteology, palaeontology and geology collections, as well as raising the profile of the natural history collections through social media, events, Subject Specialist Networks and conference presentations.

She holds a PhD in Palaeobiology from University College London, an MSc in Palaeobiology from The University of Bristol and an MSc in Geology from The University of Birmingham. She is a member of the Natural Sciences Collections Association, the Palaeontological Association and Geological Curators’ Group, as well as The Shark Trust and Save the Rhino. She is also a scientific contributor to the Ask a Biologist Q&A website and to ARKive.

Emma-Louise has previously worked as Curator of Science and Nature for the Zayed National Museum in the United Arab Emirates, based at the British Museum in London; as Curatorial Assistant at the Grant Museum of Zoology; and in collections management and archiving roles at the Lapworth Museum of Geology.

Her hobbies include building amusing dioramas out of Lego and watching monster B-movies. She is a sci-fi fan, especially of the 1960s Star Trek TV series and the Predator film franchise, and has amassed a rather substantial Predator figure collection.

Research interests:

  • Patterns in cohabiting shark and ray trophic-groups, in both modern and fossil faunas
  • The Horniman’s Bennett Collection of 175,000 fossil specimens, working to reconcile four separate sources of documentation, in order to fully document and accession the collection
  • Shark material held across all collections at the Horniman including fossil, modern and live specimens of shark and ray, as well as anthropological objects that contain shark and ray material.

Recent conference presentations:

  • 2016, Symposium of Palaeontological Preparation and Conservation, A Documentation Mystification
  • 2016, Symposium of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy, Patterns in the Palaeoecology of Modern and Cretaceous Chondrichthyan Faunas.

Recent media and publication contributions:

  • 2015, Shark Focus, Changing Perceptions of Sharks in the Red Sea.