Postdoctorate research post available for 2 years from November 2005 to work with a small team on analysing the significance of William Hunter’s Eighteenth Century Insect Cabinet in a scientific and cultural context.

Researcher needed to work in conjunction with an entomological project cataloguing and contextualising an early insect collection. The collection is in a good state of preservation, dating from the beginning of descriptive entomology and played a crucial part in the early understanding of insect diversity. It contains several thousand specimens many of which were acquired during global expeditions such as Cook’s voyages and from commissions linked strongly with Sir Joseph Banks as naturalist and President of the Royal Society.

The project requires analysing the importance of individual specimens by cross-disciplinary study. Researching the collection will broaden to investigate links with developing colonial aspirations during the Enlightenment and the transition of natural history into a scientific discipline.

We would welcome applications from historians of natural history collections with expertise in the eighteenth century or historical geographers with an interest in social studies of science and technology in historical perspective or the spaces of exploration and empire as linked to changing knowledge of the natural environment.

Salary: RA1A [£21,640 (plus increment in following year)]

Further information from University of Glasgow research vacancies website <>