Introducing the conservation team at the Natural History Museum of Denmark

Welcome to our blog following the conservation unit as we prepare the exhibitions for the new museum building of the Natural History Museum of Denmark (NHMD). This blog will follow our team and our work preparing and conserving thousands of varied specimens, from a whale heart to a meteorite to a single leaf. We will also be developing new preservation techniques, expanding on existing methods and exploring alternative ways of displaying specimens.

Cross-section view of the new museum building. Image by Claus Pryds Arkitekter and Lundgaard & Tranberg Arkitekter.

The team

Our team consists of six conservators, lead by Bethany Palumbo, the Head of Conservation Unit. Her conservation specialism is the conservation and restoration of taxidermy and osteological collections. Her main hobby is music- she loves seeing bands, playing guitar and singing karaoke!

Mikkel Høegh Post has been a conservator at the Natural History Museum of Denmark for 20 years, working in exhibition and collection management. He is now in the Conservation Unit, preparing specimens, mainly skeletons and skulls, for exhibitions and the mammal and bird collections. He specialises in macerating and preserving complicated and fragile skeletal structures for scientific study. At home he is an enthusiastic wildlife watcher and a keen hobby photographer, focusing particularly on birds and butterflies.

Zina Fihl studied at the Danish School of Conservation (Royal Academy of Fine Arts), specialising in the conservation of geological specimens. She has worked at different geological conservation centers in Denmark, preparing fossils and minerals, casting, developing exhibitions and undertaking field work. She also conserved and restored whale skeletons at the University Museum in Bergen, Norway. Returning to the field of geology as a collection manager here at the Natural History Museum of Denmark for the last 10 years she has received great experience in handling and preserving minerals, meteorites and hard rocks.

Abdi Hedayat has a Masters degree in natural history conservation from the Danish School of Conservation. He has worked fulltime in every corner of the museum since 2001, from collections and exhibitions to fieldwork in the Arctic, East Africa and USA. Abdi has experience in preparing a variety of specimens, from pinned butterflies to beached whales and genuine and fragile dinosaur fossils and he has many years of experience in performing public dissections. Having three kids, Abdi has no spare time, but he loves music and books.  

Nicole Feldman arrived to Copenhagen from New York City, where she has worked at American Museum of Natural History in science conservation for the past two years. She graduated from the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU in 2021, having earned two Masters degrees, a MS in the Conservation Historic and Artistic Works and a MA in the History of Art and Archaeology. In her free time, Nicole likes to hike and be in nature with her 2 1/2 year old miniature Australian shepherd. 

Anastasia van Gaver studied in France and England and is specialised in organic materials conservation. She has a particular interest for ethnographic objects, wet specimens and taxidermy mounts, which she developed while working as a conservator at the British Museum, London, and the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge. In her spare time, she enjoys bouldering and spending time with her cat.

From left to right: Zina Fihl, Bethany Palumbo, Abdi Hedayat, Nicole Feldman, Mikkel Høegh Post and Anastasia van Gaver. Each member of the team will take turn in writing for this blog.

On October 23rd, the Zoological Museum will permanently close to the public. This will allow us to start the conservation process, documenting, treating and packing specimens, ready to be moved to the new site.

To celebrate 52 years of opening, there will be many events and activities, including the opportunity to meet our conservation team. This is your last chance to visit – we look forward to meeting you!

While the Zoological Museum will be closed, we will be very busy behind the scenes. Stay tuned if you want more information. We will be adding regular updates about our progress on this blog, as well as on the museum’s social media channels (#NHMDconservation):
Instagram: @statensnaturhistoriskemuseum
Twitter: @NHM_Denmark
Facebook: StatensNaturhistoriskeMuseum

One response to “Welcome!”

  1. […] Natural History Museum of Denmark has launched a new blog following the work of the Conservation Unit. Head on over to find out more about the talented team […]

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