Senior Curator Blanca Huertas shares what she loves the most about working at the Natural History Museum, and gives some top tips for visitors.
Blanca Huertas is the Senior Curator of Butterflies at the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. She is responsible for looking after a collection of 5 million butterfly specimens - one of the world's biggest collections of butterflies. As a curator, Dr Huertas helps a whole range of people who use the museum's collections. From students, to artists and scientists, she has helped people from all over the world.
Dr Huertas is involved in all sorts of projects that are linked to butterflies: from discovering and describing new species of butterflies, to writing scientific papers, engaging in field work, lab work. She also gives lectures, and has advised and participated in public engagement including popular magazines, radio and tv.
We asked Dr Huertas what she loved most about the museum:
Everything. It is a magic place! Every day is different; the moment you enter the walls of one of most beautiful buildings in London, your day becomes really busy with all sort of enquires from "What’s the name of this butterfly?" to the some of the most fundamental questions about the planet. It is very busy but every day you learn something new.
Working at the NHM means Dr Huertas knows the museum inside out. She shared with us her top five things to see and do at the Natural History Museum:
In the scientific collections we have some of the oldest known butterflies and other insects collected and preserved more than 300 years ago which are primarily studied by scientists. However over Easter we will be opening this year’s Sensational Butterflies exhibition. This hugely popular, immersive exhibition is brimming full of life, colour and beauty and features species more commonly found in the tropical forests of Central and South America, Africa and Asia.
In the museum as a whole, you should not miss the amazing dinosaurs and mammals galleries. They are our popular ones because of the superb specimens and the full size models we have. Also, the panels around the gallery filled with information on the specimens are created with the visitor in mind - they are full of cool facts to learn.
Visit the Darwin Centre. It is our most recent building and it is packed full of cool interactive displays and new objects and videos, designed to engage new generations with the science and knowledge of the natural world. There is a lot to touch and play with. (Find out more)
Visit the library and keep an eye on their social media pages. Our library has more than 1 million titles in natural history dating back to the 1400s. Lots of original works and detailed pieces of art and information in a book! (Find out more)
Watch out for the Nature Live talks (Friday and weekends). Here all the family can learn in a fun way directly from our scientists about current topics and even have a glimpse at the collection on occasions. (Find out more)
It's a magical place! Every day is different.