Juliet Hay

Role summary

  • Responsible for preventative and remedial conservation of the museum’s palaeontological collections, preparation of fossil material, including mechanical and chemical development, and casting and moulding 
  • Management of the museum’s pyrite conservation programme for palaeontological material, including providing internships for students to gain skills and insights into conservation work 
  • Advising on specimen selection for exhibitions, undertaking condition reports and any necessary conservation work, and ensuring correct environmental conditions are met for sensitive material – most recently for the display of the ‘Red Lady of Paviland’ in the museum’s ‘Settlers’ exhibition 
  • Currently preparing the skull of a newly discovered plesiosaur from the Oxford Clay of Must Farm, Cambridgeshire 


Juliet has worked in the Earth Collections at the Museum of Natural History since 1991. She has had first-hand experience of field collecting. In 1994, she was involved in the excavation of the Yarnton pliosaur – a four-metre-long extinct marine reptile, soon to be re-displayed as part of the museum’s ‘Out of the Deep’ project. The project will also include the recently discovered plesiosaur, the skull of which she has been preparing from its clay matrix and reconstructing for exhibition.

She has advised on destructive sampling techniques, and has overseen projects to ensure the most successful outcome with minimal intervention and damage to specimens. She is currently acting as a consultant on the museum’s Move Project, providing conservation support and advice to teams engaged with relocating the museum’s off-site stored specimens, including the treatment of specimens suffering from the effects of pyrite oxidation before their transfer into anoxic storage.


Wilson, P.F.*, Warnett, J.M., Attridge, A., Ketchum, H., Hay, J., Smith, M.P.  and Williams, M.A. (in preparation). X-Ray Computed Tomography for Cultural Conservation: the Case of Megalosaurus bucklandii