Skip to content

Michelle Calvert

Michelle Calvert has been Deputy Aquarium Curator at the Horniman since February 2014.
Michelle Calvert (formerly Michelle Davis) is currently the Deputy Aquarium Curator and manager of the Living Collections at the Horniman Museum and Gardens. On completing a BSc (Hons) in Marine & Fresh Water Biology she worked in the Aquarium industry for 15 years. She has previously worked as a Senior Keeper managing the largest collection of coral species in the UK at ZSL London. Michelle has also worked in a clownfish hatchery, a seal sanctuary and at the London Aquarium giving her extensive knowledge in keeping a wide range of living collections and breeding programmes. Michelle manages the Animal Walk team and in 2017 she over saw the creation of the Butterfly House for the husbandry team. This involved creating all protocols and procedures in line with the Zoo Licence and she continues to manage the team, developing the collection. In 2015, Michelle attended the prestigious Jelly School, a jellyfish husbandry workshop held by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and has since developed the Jellyfish culturing systems in the aquarium, culturing 7 species of Jellyfish for display including the Barrel Jellyfish, a first in the UK. In the aquarium, she designs and implements exhibitions to promote conservation. In 2019 Michelle curated the Beat Plastic Pollution pop-up exhibition, which won a Museums + Heritage Award, for Limited Budget Project of the Year. Michelle collaborated with the Natural History Museum creating and maintaining a large living coral exhibit, for the Secret Cities of the Sea exhibition, which ran for 6 months. Her main research interest is in coral aquaculture and coral reef restoration. Since 2014 she has worked on PROJECT CORAL, a multi-year research project focused on developing techniques to predictably induce coral spawning events, in closed system aquariums to support coral reef restoration practices. Michelle joined the Florida Centre For Conservation team on the annual Staghorn coral spawn in the Florida Keys. Working with these critically endangered corals, involved night diving to monitor corals and collect the spawn, invitro fertilisation, larval rearing, and cryopreservation. Alongside her other roles, Michelle will begin her MPhil with the University of Derby focusing on the topic of ex situ coral reef restoration and climate change.

Conference presentations and workshops

  • Developing land -based coral facilities to stimulate ex-situ broadcast coral spawning events per year for reef restoration – National Aquarium Workshop, London, UK, 2018
  • Developing land -based coral facilities to stimulate ex-situ broadcast coral spawning events per year for reef restoration – European Union of Aquarium Curators, Hull, UK, 2018
  • Project Coral – Captive broadcast coral reproductive research & larval rearing techniques at the Horniman Museum & Gardens - Regional Aquarium Workshop, Boston, USA, 2017
  • Curation of living displays in a museum setting - Bringing the Dead to Life NatSCA, London, UK, 2017
  • Allogeneic responses with in intraspecific and interspecific hybrid aggregated reef building coral larval settlements and the implication on enhanced fitness during early life - National Aquarium Conference, Liverpool, UK, 2017
  • Biology of Jellyfish - BIAZA Jellyfish working group, Hull, UK, 2017
  • Project Coral – Captive broadcast coral reproductive research & larval rearing techniques at the Horniman Museum & Gardens - National Aquarium Workshop, Bournemouth, UK, 2016
  • Project Coral: Coral reproduction - Nature Live, Natural History Museum, London, UK, 2016
  • In-vitro fertilization techniques and Jellyfish husbandry at the Horniman Museum - BIAZA Jellyfish Working Group, Zoological Society London, UK, 2016
  • In-vitro fertilization techniques used to start polyp cultures of the Barrel jellyfish - Rhizostoma octopus (Poster)- 5th International Jellyfish Bloom Symposium, Barcelona, Spain, 2016
  • Coral Reefs, Secret cities of the Sea at the Natural History Museum - National Aquarium Workshop, Birmingham, UK, 2015
  • In-vitro fertilization techniques used to start polyp cultures of the Barrel jellyfish - Rhizostoma octopus - National Aquarium Workshop, Birmingham, UK, 2015 (Awarded best presentation)
  • Project Coral, Captive coral reproductive research at the Horniman Museum & Gardens - Regional Aquarium Workshop, Monterey Bay, USA, 2015
  • Project Coral, Captive coral reproductive research at the Horniman Museum & Gardens - National Aquarium Workshop, Liverpool, UK, 2014
  • The Tridacna Report (Poster) - National Aquarium Workshop, Cheshire, UK, 2012

Publications