Ms Eliza Howlett

Role summary

  • Responsibility for fossil invertebrates, as well as general oversight of the geological collections (fossils, minerals and rocks)
  • Cataloguing, digitisation, collections storage, new acquisitions, exhibitions and public engagement, object-based teaching, planning and resource allocation, and collections-based research
  • Digitisation projects, including acting as Oxford lead for GB3D Type Fossils Online, Charles Lyell Online, and the HMS Challenger Project
  • Research interests include the history of palaeontology (especially the work of William Buckland, Elizabeth Philpot and Charles Lyell), people and places, and scientific networks
  • Currently supervising two AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership studentships, one working on university collections, academic teaching, and the making of geology, 1813–1874, and the other on women and geology in Oxford, 1813-1914.

CV

Eliza has been at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History since 1993, and has worked in both the Earth and Life Collections. She was appointed Head of Earth Collections in 2017, and divides her time between collections management and collections-based research.

She co-curated an exhibition on William Buckland’s lecture diagrams for the 150th Anniversary Symposium (2006), and has given behind-the-scenes tours for Oxford Open Doors on William Buckland (2014) and John Phillips (2015). She was interviewed about Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot for the Channel 4 series ‘Walking through Time’ (2016), and gave a paper on the Philpot sisters at the History of Geology Group meeting on The Geologists of Lyme (2017). She has also written webpages on Robert Plot, Edward Lhwyd, William Buckland and W J Arkell.

She is currently collaborating with the other Oxford University museums on the design of a new off-site store on the outskirts of Swindon, and is also leading a major fundraising campaign to acquire a large and important collection of Buckland papers currently in private hands.

Publications

Featured publications

  • McFarlane, D.A., Lundberg, J., Van Rentergem, G., Howlett, E. and Stimpson, C. 2016. A new radiometric date and assessment of the Last Glacial megafauna of Dream Cave, Derbyshire, UK. Cave and Karst Science, 43 (3), 109-116.
  • Howlett, E.A., Kennedy, W.J., Powell, H.P. and Torrens, H.S. 2017. New light on the history of Megalosaurus, the great lizard of Stonesfield. Archives of Natural History, 44 (1), 82-102.
  • Stimpson, C.M., Jukar, A.M., Bonea, A., Newell, S. and Howlett, E. 2022. A ‘large and valuable’ Siwalik fossil collection in the archives of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Historical Biology, DOI: 10.1080/08912963.2022.2070017.

Full publications

  • McFarlane, D.A., Lundberg, J., Van Rentergem, G., Howlett, E. and Stimpson, C. 2016. A new radiometric date and assessment of the Last Glacial megafauna of Dream Cave, Derbyshire, UK. Cave and Karst Science, 43 (3), 109-116.
  • Howlett, E.A., Kennedy, W.J., Powell, H.P. and Torrens, H.S. 2017. New light on the history of Megalosaurus, the great lizard of Stonesfield. Archives of Natural History, 44 (1), 82-102.
  • Brasier, A.T., Cotton, L.J., Garwood, R.J., Baker-Brian, J., Howlett, E. and Brasier, M.D., 2017, Earliest Cretaceous cocoons or plant seed structures from the Wealden Group, Hastings, UK. In Brasier, A.T., McIlroy, D. and McLoughlin, N.  (eds). Earth System Evolution and Early Life: A Celebration of the Work of Martin Brasier. Geological Society Special Publications, 448, 440 pp.
  • Johnson, M.M., Young, M.T., Steel, L., Foffa, D., Smith, A.S., Hua, S., Havlik, P., Howlett, E.A. and Dyke, G., 2017. Re-description of ‘Steneosaurus’ obtusidens Andrews, 1909, an unusual macrophagous teleosaurid crocodylomorph from the Middle Jurassic of England. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 182 (2), 1–34.
  • Stimpson, C.M., Jukar, A.M., Bonea, A., Newell, S. and Howlett, E. 2022. A 'large and valuable' Siwalik fossil collection in the archives of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Historical Biology, DOI: 10.1080/08912963.2022.2070017.

Featured projects

Project Manager for OUMNH, GB3D Type Fossils Online. 2011–13. Funded by JISC.

Project Manager for OUMNH, HMS Challenger Project. 2014–15. Funded by Ellerman.

Project Manager, Lyell Digitisation Project. 2015–17. Funded by The Street Foundation.

Co-supervisor, AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership studentship on university collections, academic teaching, and the making of geology, 1813–1874. 2018–21. Funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council.

Co-supervisor, AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership studentship on women and geology in Oxford, 1813–1914. 2021–24. Funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council.