Tuesday, 24 July 2012

PhD week 20: Auckland

Auckland War Memorial Museum
Landcare Research Auckland
The Auckland War Memorial Museum (top) and Landcare Research (bottom)

I spent the past week in Auckland visiting two of the major insect collections in New Zealand, namely the New Zealand Arthropod Collection (affectionately known as NZAC) housed by Landcare Research, and the Auckland Museum. Both these collections are nationally important, and a visit to these insitutions is vitally important for anyone studying the insects of New Zealand in any depth. I spent five happy days immersing myself in getting a better understanding of the genera of NZ's broad-nosed weevils and going through the unsorted Irenimus in the collections. A bigger job than it sounds! I returned to Christchurch with just short of 1000 specimens to look at over the next few years. That should keep me occupied for a decent amount of time. My time up there coincided with the arrival of Steve Davis, a fellow weevil-man who is visiting NZAC for a time. It was great meeting him, and discussing methods, characters and aspects of the New Zealand weevil fauna.

In addition to spending time doing work, I was also able to enjoy spending time with family, viewing the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition at Auckland Museum, going to a hardcore show featuring Terror and Antagonist A.D., dancing tango at Cafe Limon, and having dinner at Father Ted's Irish Bar with Steve. A good balance, methinks.

   Pratchett T. 2011. Snuff. London: Corgi
   Psalms 81–85

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