In mid-March 2020 people started talking about the possibility of Te Papa shutting down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. What if we all had to work from home for an extended period? Many of the Natural History staff could research and write papers from home, but what about the people whose jobs normally involved handling specimens every day? Natural History technician Bridget Hatton came up with a workaround and takes us through what happened.
Collections are at the heart of a museum. A museum’s exhibitions and research are built from its collections. The significance of collections means it is important to acknowledge those who have contributed. Te Papa’s Botany collection of plant specimens has recently seen notable milestones for two of its biggest contributors:
For many years, Te Papa botanists have included Otari-Wilton’s Bush collections in their research. Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton’s Bush Reserve is a special place in Wellington it’s “the only public botanic garden in New Zealand dedicated solely to native plants”. This makes it an important educational and research resource
Where would you go to find a new species? Perhaps somewhere remote and little-visited, especially if it is ecologically unusual – New Caledonia maybe… Well, instead, how about inside Te Papa’s collections, because that’s where I first discovered a new species of Gleichenia tangle fern. A lot of biodiversity remains