European Directory of Marine Environmental Data (EDMED)

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Data set name

NHM foraminifera collection from the oceans and seas adjoining Europe (1850-)

Data holding centreDepartment of Zoology, Natural History Museum
CountryUnited Kingdom  United Kingdom
Time periodFrom 1850 onwards
Geographical area

Oceans and seas adjoining Europe; very extensive coverage


Zooplankton and zoobenthos morphological parameters; Zooplankton taxonomy-related abundance per unit volume of the water column; Zoobenthos taxonomic abundance; Zooplankton taxonomy-related biomass expressed as carbon per unit volume of the water column; Zoobenthos taxonomy-related counts; Zoobenthos taxonomy-related wet weight biomass per unit area of the bed; Zooplankton and zoobenthos development stage parameters


Plankton nets; benthos samplers


The Palaeontology Department of the Natural History Museum holds one of the finest and largest collections in the world of recent as well as fossil foraminifera. These are both wet and dry preserved specimens and include historically important collections such as the 'Challenger', Terra Nova', 'Discovery' and other cruises of international importance. The Department holds extensive collections from European coastal regions and seas. The foraminifera collection comprises material obtained by individuals and by cruises from the north east Atlantic, the Arctic Ocean, the North Sea, the Baltic, the Irish Sea, the west Irish coast, the English Channel and Western Approaches, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. The Brady collection contains not only the famous Challenger collection, but also much material from European coasts obtained in exchange from Scandinavia and the Mediterranean. We hold material from the 'Porcupine' cruises, and much material in the Heron- Allen and Earland collection from European shores (e.g. Clare Island Survey). Other famous collections include the Parker and Jones' collection (North Atlantic and Grecian Archipelago) and the Williamson collection of British foraminifera. Data are stored in a series of handwritten registers (species, geographical and donor indices). This is to be computerised in the near future. Active research is being undertaken on the more important historical collections (e.g. Heron-Allen and Earland, Parker and Jones' collections).

OriginatorsDepartment of Zoology, Natural History Museum

Hodgkinson, R.L. (1989) The Heron-Allen & Earland Type Slide Collection of Foraminifera in the British Museum (Natural History)., Journal of Micropalaeontology, Vol 8 part 2: 149-156.; Hodgkinson, R.L. (1992) W. K. Parker's collection of foraminifera in the British Museum (Natural History). Bulletin of the British Museum, Natural History, Geology, Volume 48 part 2: 45-76.

OrganisationDepartment of Zoology, Natural History Museum
ContactKeeper of Zoology

Department of Zoology, Natural History Museum
Department of Zoology, Cromwell Road

United Kingdom

Telephone+44 20 7942 5275
Collating centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
Local identifier1039012
Global identifier1407
Last revised2009-12-01