Our team is small but mighty!

We all work on a part time basis, managing our
museum responsibilities around additional roles.

Curator – Professor Amanda Callaghan

“The Cole Team of staff and students are simply the best, and the collection is stunning and endlessly fascinating”.

Professor Amanda Callaghan has been the academic curator of the Cole Museum since 2005 and led the redesign, reinterpretation and move of the museum to the Health and Life Sciences building. She can be contacted on a.callaghan@reading.ac.uk, and on Twitter @ACallaZoo.

Graduate Teaching Assistant – Claire Smith

“I specialise in the care and conservation of fluid-preserved specimens. I also help to supervise a team of students as they learn the diverse range of skills needed for working with fluid collections.”

Claire has years of experience working with the Cole Museum’s diverse and often challenging fluid collection. She is also undertaking a PhD in the preservation of colour in fluid-preserved zoological museum specimens. Find her on Twitter @wetconservatrix.

Teaching and Research Technician – Caitlin Walton

With a background in forensic archaeology and experience as a lab technician in educational settings, Caitlin helps to take care of our fluid preserved specimens, and assists with environmental monitoring in the museum. Find her on Twitter @_Caitlin_Walton.

Placement Student – Ellie Flutter

“The Cole Museum is the perfect place to work – every day is different, I’ve gained lots of invaluable skills I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to gain anywhere else and the staff team are really friendly and welcoming.”

Ellie is a placement student at the Cole Museum this year to gain experience in the Zoology field, and so far they have been involved in the cataloguing of the curated specimens, assisting with the presentation of the museum displays and more.

Collections Care Manager – Fred Van De Geer

“The move of the Cole Museum is a huge and complicated undertaking, as the collection consists of many complex and fragile objects. It is a privilege to utilise and stretch my own skills to make this into the success it deserves.”

Fred has worked as conservator for the University collections since 2006. He is responsible for some of our  largest, most complex and challenging specimens, and the ongoing museum move could not happen without his expertise!

Research Associate – Dr Tara Pirie

“Apart from assisting with the Cole Museum packing, fundraising and specimen conservation, I have helped to redesign specimen cases and write new content to make the new Cole Museum even more inspiring and exciting for our students and visitors!”

Tara continues to be involved with many aspects of the museum. Find her on Twitter @TaraPirie.