Jo Hatton

Jo Hatton is Principal Curator of Natural Sciences, and has worked in the Department of Natural History at the Horniman Museum and Gardens since 2005.
As Principal Curator of Natural Sciences, Jo is responsible for managing, making available and promoting the Natural History collections, around 250,000 specimens. Major projects have included the curation of a 'Nature Base' gallery (opened 2009), publication of the Hart bird collection and other natural history specimen records online, and management of the Bioblitz Collections Review Project supported by the Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund. Jo's current project involves researching and developing themes for the Natural History Gallery introductory area re-display, with funding from the DCMS / Wolfson Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund. Her career as a curator began with documentation and cataloguing projects at Liverpool Museum (insects and bird's eggs) and the National Museum of Wales (insects), before moving on to curate and interpret diverse zoology collections at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and the Grant Museum of Zoology (University College London). Jo is a member of the Natural Sciences Collections AssociationSociety for the Preservation of Natural History Collections and a council member for the Society for the History of Natural History and London Natural History Society, and also represents the Horniman as part of the Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership.

Research interests

  • History of taxidermy, particularly Hampshire taxidermist and naturalist, Edward Hart (1847-1928). Hart's collection of mounted birds is one of the very best in Britain and most of the surviving taxidermy cases and notebooks are housed at the Horniman Museum and Gardens.
  • The scientific and historical importance of Frederick Horniman's founding Natural History collections.
  • Biological recording, as a contribution to environmental conservation.

Recent conference presentations

  • February 2013. Natural Sciences Collections Association Annual Conference, Yorkshire Museum. Bioblitz; reviewing the Natural History collections at the Horniman Museum and Gardens.
  • May 2011, Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, Academy of Natural Sciences, San Francisco. The Hart Collection of British birds: A chequered history - a sustainable future?
  • April 2010, Natural Sciences Collections Association Annual Conference, Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery. Shout it from the green roof top: raising the profile of Natural Science at the Horniman Museum and Gardens.

Public presentations

  • August, June, March and January 2013, Taxidermy, Tradition and Tales: Collecting Taxidermy in Victorian Britain at the Cole Museum, University of Reading, Gloucester City Museum and Hall Place, Bexley.
  • January 2013, A few of his favourite things: hi-lights from the Natural History collection of tea trader Frederick Horniman, Bromley Museum.
  • November 2010, From Tea to Taxidermy – Natural History Collecting at the Horniman Museum, Royal College of Physicians.
  • August 2009, Slow worms to Stag beetles: The changing fortunes of London’s Capital Creatures, Horniman Museum and Gardens.
  • May 2007, L for Linnaeus: A celebration of one man’s quest to name the World! Horniman Museum and Gardens.

Publication contributions

  • Tea to Taxidermy at the Horniman Museum. Hatton, J.  The Taxidermist: July 2008.
  • Shout it from the green roof top: raising the profile of Natural Science at the Horniman Museum and Gardens. Hatton, J. & Dutton, E. NatSCA News: Issue 19: 22-29. 2010.
  • Gastrallus laevigatus (Olivier) (Anobiidae): a British species. Mendel, H. & Hatton, J. The Coleopterist 21(2): 73-76, September 2012.
  • Chrysomela tremula Fabricius (Chrysomelidae) rediscovered in Britain. Mendel, H. & Hatton, J. The Coleopterist 21(3): 132-135, December 2012.
  • Correction: Chrysomela saliceti Suffrian (New to Britain) not Chrysomela tremula F. (Chrysomelidae) in the Cambridgeshire Fens. Mendel, H. & Hatton, J. The Coleopterist 22(1): 19, April 2013.

Media contributions

  • February 2014. Interviewed for BBC FOUR’s Michael Mosley’s Living With Parasites documentary on the Horniman’s fish tongue louse specimen.
  • January 2014. Interviewed for BBC1’s Inside Out report on the growing interest in Taxidermy.
  • October 2013. Interviewed for Sky News’ report on the resurgence in popularity of taxidermy.