Over the past few days the ranks of the Museum have been swelled by the arrival of a host of summer interns from the University of Oxford Internship Programme and the EPA Cephalosporin Fund scheme. Overall, twelve internships are being run at the Museum, and the new faces have been squirreled away into the various departments and collections throughout the building.
We’ve got people working on a wide variety of activities, from audience research for Oxford ASPIRE, to the curation of longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae) in the Life Collections, to work on the archive of 19th-century entomologist James Charles Dale.
One of the interns, Grace Manley, is pictured above peering into a microscope. Grace is working with Dr Tracy Aze, a research fellow at the Museum who is studying planktonic foraminifera – fossils of single-celled organisms found in deep-sea sediments – to investigate marine extinctions. Tracy explains how Grace is contributing to the work during her internship:
Grace is helping me to test some methodological practices that will feed into how I conduct my future research. She has been involved in all the stages of micropalaeontological processing, from washing down core sediments and microfossil identification, through to imaging specimens on the scanning electron microscope.
The project gives her the opportunity to learn many of the common practices that micropalaeontologists use in a lab today and is excellent experience should she decide to continue to work in this field, or other areas of palaeontology.
For Grace, the internship provides ‘a practical experience of scientific research in the field of environmental change and extinction’. At the same time, she is enjoying ‘the chance to learn about the hugely diverse range of collections in the Museum and how they are actively used for scientific research today.’
We hope that all the interns across the Museum are finding a similarly rich and rewarding experience and we’ll feature some of the highlights of their work on this blog over the coming weeks.
In the meantime, a big welcome to Naomi Saunders, Stephanie Faulkner, Grace Manley, Emily Giles, and Samuel Peacock on the University of Oxford programme; and to Branwen Snelling, Keyron Hickman-Lewis, Ellen Foley-Williams, Max Brown, James Evry, Cecilia Karlsson, and Emily Tibly on the EPA Cephalosporin Fund scheme.
Scott Billings – Public engagement officer