Geology Revealed: The Late Triassic Mass Extinction Event and its Aftermath by Prof Richard Twitchett

Ichthyosaur fossil discovered at Lyme Regis © Dorset County Museum 2017

Ichthyosaur fossil discovered at Lyme Regis © Dorset County Museum 2017

One of the major mass extinction events of all time took place about 200 million years ago, triggered by volcanic activity associated with the birth of the Atlantic Ocean.  Elevated carbon dioxide levels at the time, led to global warming and associated environmental changes, some of which are similar to those we are currently experiencing. 

Southwest England contains some of the best locations to study the impacts of this extinction on marine ecosystems and this talk will outline some of the major advances that have been made recently.

Professor Richard Twitchett is a palaeontologist who has been researching the effects of Earth’s major mass extinction events for over 20 years.  Since 2014 he has been a Research Leader in environmental change at the Natural History Museum, London.  After graduating from the University of Bristol he completed his PhD at Leeds, and has undertaken research in the Americas, Asia, Europe & Australia, including fellowships at the University of Tokyo & the University of Southern California.

The forthcoming lecture will take place on Wednesday 8 March in the Dorset County Museum’s Victorian Hall and is FREE to the public; however a donation of £3 encouraged to cover costs. Doors open at 6.30pm and talks start at 7.00pm.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Geology Revealed: Coastal Heritage Risk by Professor Robin McInnes

Lyme Regis, Dorset by G Hawkins. Aquatint Engraving, c 1830. This view looks eastwards towards Black Ven and Charmouth. Rapid erosion and coastal landsliding is a feature of this frontage. © Private Collection

Lyme Regis, Dorset by G Hawkins. Aquatint Engraving, c 1830. This view looks eastwards towards Black Ven and Charmouth. Rapid erosion and coastal landsliding is a feature of this frontage. © Private Collection

Come and join us on Wednesday 22 February for a talk on Coastal Erosion by Professor Robin McInnes. The presentation will explain the results of a major study, ‘CHeRISH’,  commissioned from Coastal & Geotechnical Services by Historic England. The project has been examining the potential for historical images (1770-1950) to support  understanding and improved management of risks to coastal heritage sites in Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.

Robin McInnes is a geologist, coastal scientist and art historian. He read geology at Southampton University and gained his PhD at Portsmouth University in Coastal Zone Management. He was technical chairman of the Standing Conference on Problems Associated with the Coastline and chairman of the Coastal Groups of England & Wales between 1995-2009. He was appointed OBE for ‘Services to Flood & Coastal Defence’ in 2006. Robin was Visiting Professor at the School of Civil Engineering & Environment at the University of Southampton from 2010-2014. In 2007 he established his consultancy Coastal & Geotechnical Services specialising in coastal zone and landslide risk management; he has been an advisor to the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the European Commission, The Crown Estate and numerous other clients in the UK and overseas.

Alongside his technical publications Robin McInnes has a special knowledge of British coastal art and he wrote the standard reference work on this subject in ‘British Coastal Art 1770-1930’ in 2014. His has a particular interest in illustrating how art can support many aspects of coastal planning and management.

This lecture will be held in the museums’ Victorian Hall on Wednesday 22nd February 2017 at 7.00pm (doors open at 6.30pm) and is FREE although a donation of £3 is encouraged to cover costs.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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Undersea Fun with the Dorset County Museum’s Craft Academy

craft-academy-dorset-county-museumLooking for something to do with the kids this this half term?  Come and join us for a morning of messy fun at Dorset County Museum’s Craft Academy on Wednesday 15 February 10.30am – 12.30pm

Taking inspiration from our current spotlight exhibition ‘Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor – 500 million years of evolutionary history’ based on the book by Wolfgang Grulke in the Victorian Hall children will have a chance to learn and create creatures that live in the sea and their environment.

We’ll provide the materials and the inspiration – you’ll create a wonderful piece to take home with you. Even better, it’s absolutely FREE thanks to sponsorship from Battens Solicitors.

Each time you create a masterpiece at one of our sessions, we will stamp your Craft Academy passport. If you collect three stamps we’ll give you a special certificate.

The next Craft Academy sessions for 2017:

  • Wednesday 12 April

  • Wednesday 19 April

  • Wednesday 31 May

  • Wednesday 2nd August

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Nautilus Exhibition at the Dorset County Museum extended to 30 May 2017

Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor - 500 million years of evolutionary

Book: Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor – 500 million years of evolutionary by Wolfgang Grulke

Dorset County Museum’s spotlight exhibition ‘Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor – 500 million years of evolutionary history’ based on the book by Wolfgang Grulke has been extended until the end of May this year to enable even more people to come and enjoy it.

This exhibition showing many of the cultural objects, fossils, shells and artefacts featured in the book, celebrates the long history of Nautilus, its role in human culture and the realities of its life today.

Wolfgang Grulke and his collection of Ammonites

Wolfgang Grulke

Wolfgang said “The Chambered Nautilus is one of the oldest living things on our planet. Since the dawn of civilisation its form has inspired artists, designers and architects. Nautilus has survived whatever the world has thrown at it for more than 500 million years, persisting even as dinosaurs and many other life forms vanished. Now, however, some believe it could become extinct within a generation.  We are donating 100% of the proceeds of this book to Nautilus research and we hope that one of the projects will help find this rarest of animals and film it for the first time.”

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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Geology Revealed: What is a species? The controversy continues; but does it matter? By Dr John Whicher

What is a species?  The controversy continues;  but does it matter? On Wednesday 11 January  at 7pm (doors open at 6.30pm). Come and join us for an interesting talk by Dr John Whicher.

The species is a fundamental concept of biology. It underpins the classification of organisms, our views on evolution and our measures of biodiversity. Research in many fields depends upon general agreement about what a species is. Darwin said: `No one definition has satisfied all naturalists; yet every naturalist knows vaguely what he means when he speaks of a species.’ It is therefore disappointing that there are more species concepts in use today than at any point in the past century, and the consensus in zoology about the Biological Species Concept has begun to unravel. Different species concepts impose different interpretations on the biological world which have important practical consequences.

Dr John Whicher is a retired professor of molecular pathology and experimental cancer research. His research interests were in the mechanism and consequences of the acute phase response. He is a fellow of the Geological Society, a member of the Geologists Association and an author of papers on Dorset geology and palaeontology.

Wednesday 11 January 2017 at 7.00pm (The Museum doors open at 6.30pm). The talk is FREE although a donation of £3 is encouraged to cover costs.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Mammoth Book Sale at Dorset County Museum

Book Sale at Dorset County Museum

The Dorset County Museum’s popular annual sale of second-hand books will be taking place on 11, 12 and 14 November 2015 between 10am to 4pm.

Thousands of quality books will be sold at bargain prices – fact, fiction, hardback and softback. Hundreds of subjects and genres will be represented including Dorset, travel, history, music, art and gardening.  A wide selection of fiction will also be available including hard and soft backs. A few minutes’ careful searching could reveal untold treasures!

In addition, there will be a sale of Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society publications at knock-down prices – available only to buyers who visit the sale in person.

All proceeds go towards the upkeep of the Museum and its extensive collections.

Dorset County Museum Book Sale 2012Donations of good quality second hand books will be gratefully received up to and including Friday 11 November.

The Museum’s well-stocked gift shop is also worth a visit with Christmas lines now available, and the popular tea room awaits weary bargain hunters.

Everyone is welcome and entry to the sale is FREE – it would help the Museum if visitors could bring their own bags as supplies of plastic bags will be limited. Please note the Museum will NOT be open on Sunday 13 November.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Geology Revealed: The Facts and Fiction of Fracking by Dr Julie Richardson

Shale Oil and Gas Dr Julie Richardson © 2016On Wednesday 9th November 2016 at 7.00pm (doors open at 6.30pm). Come and join us for an interesting talk by Dr Julie Richardson

This talk will look at definitions of shale oil and gas, their distribution, the UK potential, and environmental concerns, with possible solutions.

Dr Richardson started off in DPhil in geothermal energy, then joined BP in research looking at histories of sediments.  After having a family she had a mixed career, in and out of geosciences.  Most recently she has been working on Libyan fields and, after the overthrow of Gaddafi, looking speculatively at the shale oil and gas potential.

Wednesday 9th November 2016 at 7.00pm (The Museum doors open at 6.30pm). The talk is FREE although a donation of £3 is encouraged to cover costs.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

New exhibition explores one of nature’s beautiful survivors the Nautilus

Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor - 500 million years of evolutionaryFrom 1st to 31st October 2016, Dorset County Museum will be hosting an exhibition ‘Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor – 500 million years of evolutionary history’ based on the forthcoming booking book by Wolfgang Grulke.

Wolfgang Grulke is an author and business man with an unbridled passion for the natural world.  He is regarded as one of the world’s top futurists, speakers and writers of the on this subject. Recently he has also applied his sense of wonder to the distant past, especially our fossil history.

He has created a renowned collection which is featured in his two natural history books Heteromorph: Nature as it’s most bizarre which was published last year and Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor – 500 million years of evolutionary history’ which will be launched on ‘World Nautilus Day’ on the 9th October 2016.

Wolfgang Grulke and his collection of Ammonites

Wolfgang Grulke and his collection of Ammonites

This exhibition showing many of the cultural objects, fossils, shells and artefacts featured in the book, celebrates the long history of Nautilus, its role in human culture and the realities of its life today.

Wolfgang said “The Chambered Nautilus is one of the oldest living things on our planet. Since the dawn of civilisation its form has inspired artists, designers and architects. Nautilus has survived whatever the world has thrown at it for more than 500 million years, persisting even as dinosaurs and many other life forms vanished. Now, however, some believe it could become extinct within a generation.”

Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor - 500 million years of evolutionary

Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor – 500 million years of evolutionary

He continues to say “Despite it having become one of the most-studied invertebrates of all time, there is still an air of mystery that surrounds the living Nautilus. The most-recently evolved specimens have been grouped into the genus Allonautilus. One of these Allonautilus scrobiculatus, the furry or fuzzy Nautilus, has only been seen alive twice in the last 30 years. A second species, Allonautilus perforatus, has never been seen alive. We are donating 100% of the proceeds of this book to Nautilus research and we hope that one of the projects will help find this rarest of animals and film it for the first time.”

This spotlight exhibition and book will feature in a talk by Wolfgang Grulke held at the Dorset County Museum on Wednesday 12 October 2016 from 7.30pm (doors open at 7pm) Thursday 15. The talk is FREE although a donation of £3 is encouraged to cover costs.  The book ‘Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor – 500 million years of evolutionary history’ by Wolfgang Grulke will also be available to purchase and for signing on the night.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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Geology Revealed: Science and Imagination, Getting Intimate with Deep Time with Sam Scriven

Fossils of the jurassic Coast by Sam Scriven

Fossils of the jurassic Coast by Sam Scriven

Come and join us this Wednesday evening for an interesting talk by Sam Scriven, Earth Science Manager, Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. 

Since joining the Jurassic Coast Team, Sam has been keen to get people involved with the World Heritage Site, and in particular the way in which our geological heritage is communicated.  Copies of his book, ‘Fossils of the Jurassic Coast’ will be available to buy.

Wednesday 14th September 2016 at 7.00pm (The Museum doors open at 6.30pm). The talk is FREE although a donation of £3 is encouraged to cover costs.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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Dorset County Museum celebrates International Museum Day

International Museum Day 2016To celebrate International Museum Day on Wednesday, Dorset County Museum is offering half price entry all day with our special promotional vouchers, and FREE museum tours at 1.00pm, 2.00pm and 3.00pm.

Vouchers can be downloaded from www.facebook.com/events/1021234407913583

The theme of International Museum Day 2016 is Museums and Cultural Landscapes, and it highlights the role of museums in strengthening ties between local people and their environment.

With this in mind, come and see the newly refurbished Ancient Dorset Gallery at the Museum which tells the fascinating story of the ancient Britons, Romans, Saxons and Vikings who lived on the South Dorset Ridgeway and discover the impact they had on the landscape we can see today.

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) established International Museum Day in 1977 to increase public awareness of the role of museums in the development of society, and it has been steadily gaining momentum ever since.  In 2015, International Museum Day garnered record-breaking participation with more than 35,000 museums hosting events in some 145 countries.  For more information, visit www.imd.icom.museum.