Preservation of natural history wet collections : feedbacks and future prospects

5-7 déc. 2018
Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle - Amphithéâtre de la Grande Galerie de l'Evolution - Paris (France)

Natural history wet collections form a precious heritage to better know biodiversity and to understand its evolution. Regional, national or world memory of rare or extinct species, these collections have a heritage status although they are used as a resource for scientific research in biology, comparative anatomy, and so on. Their conservation is a significant challenge and an original field of research since the end of the XXth century. Preservation techniques employed for the preparation, conservation of wet collections widely changed over time, and the proper conservation of the specimens depends on numerous parameters: fixation or preservation fluids composition, type of jars, sealants, etc. In the medium-to-long term, all these factors have an impact on the anatomical and morphological quality of the specimens as well as on the integrity of the biochemical information they are able to provide (DNA, proteins...). They directly determine the use that can be made of the collections: exhibit, morphological examination, biochemical investigations ... The meeting intend to gather the various French and Europeans, players involved in the preservation of natural history wet collections, be they curatorial assistant, curator in charge, conservator or researcher for effective knowledge and experience sharing on these conservation issues. Discussions will be structured around experience feedbacks in order to learn from issues and to try and provide achievable solutions. It should permit to highlight common practices, recurring alteration observed within spirit collections, potential drivers, topping strategies as well as future challenges posed by wet collections. The issue of the toxicity of some preservation fluids will also be addressed along with precautionary protective measures for the Museum staff.
Discipline scientifique : Chimie analytique - Biodiversité et Ecologie - Biochimie - Biologie moléculaire - Génomique, Transcriptomique et Protéomique - Biodiversité - Systématique, phylogénie et taxonomie - Imagerie - Héritage culturel et muséologie

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