On-demand courses on the natural world

From discovering new species of dinosaur and revealing the origins of the solar system to tracking diseases and countering the biodiversity crisis, the more than 350 scientists working at London’s Natural History Museum are at the forefront of contemporary natural science.

Dive deeper into the natural world with our new online learning platform Naturally Curious. These pre-recorded courses on topics ranging from the biology of snakes to the future of the green economy are led by our world-leading experts and supported with detailed course notes.

Meet our scientists

Professor Sara Russell

Senior Research Lead for Earth Sciences
Sara is a Merit Researcher in Cosmic Mineralogy and Planetary Sciences at the Natural History Museum in London. Her team are studying the formation of the solar system as well as the formation and evolution of the moons of the terrestrial planets. They’re currently using the meteorite collection the Museum cares for to investigate the origin of water in the solar system, transport within the early protoplanetary disk and geological processes in asteroids.   

Sara is a Science Team Member of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission, a member of the JAXA’s Hayabusa2 Analysis Team and European Space Agency Representative on the International Science Board of JAXA’s MMX mission. She edited the book Chondrules and the Protoplanetary Disk published by Cambridge University Press and is the proud namesake of Asteroid 5497 Sararussell.  

Hugh Carter

Curator of Marine Invertebrates
Hugh is the Curator of Marine Invertebrates at the Natural History Museum in London, with a primary focus on echinoderms. His current work focuses on understanding the patterns of starfish distribution around the world, how certain species came to be concentrated in certain regions and the global and environmental variables that help to shape their ranges. Hugh is particularly interested in the role of larvae in species dispersal and how different lineages have evolved to colonise the deepest parts of the oceans and the extremes of the poles.

Alongside this work, Hugh’s responsible for the care of a collection of approximately 500,000 echinoderm specimens, from tiny brittlestars from UK coastlines to giant starfish from the Antarctic. He’s working with colleagues in the Museum’s Deep Sea Lab to describe new species of starfish and sea lily collected as part of investigations into the impacts of deep-sea mining in the mid-Pacific Ocean.

Erica McAlister

Senior Curator, Diptera (including Siphonaptera)
Erica is the Principal Curator of Flies and Fleas at the Natural History Museum in London. She’s been recording, researching and describing flies all across the world for more than 16 years. Erica’s carried out research projects on mosquitoes all over the globe, from the UK to Tajikistan. Currently, she’s working on a project to reclassify Australia’s robber fly species and since 2015 has been collaborating on a project in Dominica teaching about the Dipteran fauna of the island.

Erica is also heavily involved with public engagement and has appeared on TV and radio and written several popular books. She’s presented the BBC Radio 4 series Metamorphosis and Insects: Who’s the Pest and has appeared on its series The Life Scientific, The Infinite Monkey Cage and Nature Table. She’s also written an award-winning book The Secret Life of Flies as well as its fantastic sequel The Inside Out of Flies.

Ian Brennan

Postdoctoral Researcher Snakes
Ian an is a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Natural History Museum in London. His main interest is reptiles, particularly snakes, and his current research revolves around phylogenetics and macroevolution. At the moment, Ian is investigating temporal and among-clade trends in diversification namely in morphological traits such as body size and shape.

He completed his Masters degree at Villanova University, working on squamate systematics across Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia and select Pacific islands. Ian completed his PhD and was a postdoctoral researcher at the Australian National University, where he carried out his doctoral research on identifying and modelling macroevolutionary patterns and diversification dynamics of Australian vertebrates.

Curious? Check out our courses now!