TALK in Cardiff: "Shedding new light on Alfred Russel Wallace’s insect specimens" by Dr George Beccaloni

Do you want to know more about Alfred Russel Wallace and his entomological collections? If so, you’re in luck.

The entomologist and Director of the Wallace Fund, Dr George Beccaloni, is to deliver a paper entitled: “Shedding new light on Alfred Russel Wallace’s insect specimens” in Cardiff on 25 June 2014. Here is the abstract:

Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) is best known as being the co-discoverer of evolution by natural selection and the ‘father’ of zoogeography, however, he was also one of the greatest collectors of tropical insects and other animals of the 19th century. Wallace collected specimens for his private collection and also on a commercial basis for four years in Brazil and eight years in South-East Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and East Timor). During the latter expedition he shipped back almost 110,000 insects to the UK, many of which were species new to science. My talk will give an overview of the insect specimens Wallace collected and where they are now. I will also discuss how my study of his data labels and collecting notebooks (recently digitised as part of the Wallace Correspondence Project) has shed new light on where and when the specimens were collected, adding much to their scientific value.

The paper is part of a series of talks organised as part of the 29th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) which is taking place from 22 to 27 June.*

George will be delivering his paper in the Weston Studio of the striking Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay from 11.50 to 12.10.

For the full programme of the event you can download a pdf from the Museum of Wales site. Included is also further information on how to get there etc.

If you’re able to go I am sure you will enjoy it greatly. As well as being Director of the Wallace Fund and editor of the Wallace Correspondence Project and its website Wallace Letters Online, George co-edited with Charles Smith an invaluable collection of essays on Wallace entitled: Natural Selection and Beyond: The Intellectual Legacy of Alfred Russel Wallace.

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