Cockburn Geological Museum

Cockburn Geological Museum Cockburn Museum, Grant Institute, School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh Much other material is readily accessible but in locked cabinets.

Many attractive specimens from the collections are displayed in presentation cases along the main corridors of the Grant Institute. Material may be viewed, and in appropriate circumstances loaned, by arrangement with the Curator. The research collections from graduate theses are mainly stored in the basements to the Earth Sciences buildings. Material in storage can also be examined by prior arrang

ement with the Curator. Members of academic staff particularly involved with the collections are Geoff Bromiley. We are happy to identify rocks, fossils and minerals on request. We run outreach activities and occasional tours or talks about aspects of the Museum, and are happy to put you on our mailing list if you would like to be informed about these activities. We also participate in the City of Edinburgh Doors Open Day every year. Research on our collections is ongoing. We are happy to provide research space and facilities, although a charge may be levied for any analytical work.

Mary Anning's statue will be unveiled today in Lyme Regis.

Mary Anning's statue will be unveiled today in Lyme Regis.

A nine-year-old pointed out what was missing in Lyme Regis. Her long campaign has now borne fruit


“Great to see Professor Stuart Haszeldine interviewed by to talk about the benefits of & storage at the start of .”


🌍 Behind every great action is a driving force - Dr Isla Myers-Smith is one of twenty-six changemakers fighting for the planet - National Geographic

🍃 Isla's research centres around the so-called ‘greening’ of the Arctic. The change in vegetation systems in the Arctic tundra is a critical bell-weather for large scale changes in the world’s climate – and with wildfires in Siberia and the circumpolar large-scale thawing of permafrost – essentially the locker of some of the world’s most dense carbon deposits – it’s an area of critical understanding when it comes to climate change.

🛩️ Use of technology such as drones and satellite observations to track changes in vegetation cover is allowing scientists like Isla further their understanding of the changes that could affect the balance between natural carbon storage and its release into the atmosphere, with potentially devastating consequences. 👇


As world leaders gather at to agree ambition and action towards achieving global emissions, we continue to work with the geoscience community and decision-makers to highlight the critical role of the geosciences.

The decarbonisation of electricity production, industry, transport and heating to meet both UK and international climate change targets is a major challenge, and the subsurface has an important role to play.

was central to the carbonisation of our environment through the exploration, extraction and use of fossil fuels. The same skills and expertise that developed these resources can significantly contribute to decarbonisation solutions. Many of the technologies involved share common scientific, regulatory and technical challenges, which will be a priority to address moving forward.

Learn more about the role of the geosciences at


An Earth-directed coronal mass ejection was launched from the Sun early on Wednesday 3rd November. This is expected to arrive at Earth within the next 24 hours. A geomagnetic storm is possible as a result.

Assuming clear dark skies, there is an increased chance of seeing the aurora. In the UK, those in Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland may have the best opportunities.

For more information please visit:
For current geomagnetic activity levels please see:
For more advice on viewing the Northern Lights please visit:


A series of recent climate emergency summits organised by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society have now culminated in an extensive report being…


🧫 A team of researchers from GeoSciences and Chemistry have developed a recyclable chemical reagent that separates valuable metals such as gold that could be integrated into the current metal extraction and recycling industries.

📢 "Ligand design, as achieved in this work, represents a major step-change in reducing the chemical environmental footprint of recycling metals from waste. The next step is to integrate the separation process with even more environmental friendly upstream processing such as microbiological leaching." -
Professor Bryne Ngwenya, Chair in Microbial Geochemistry.

Read more 👉


‘Hello, hello, hello. What’s going on ‘ere then?

“Cast of the foot of a policeman, shewing hypertrophy of the great and second toes”.

Hypertrophy is an increase of an organ or tissue due to enlargement of its cells.

From the Catalogue of the Specimens in the Anatomical Museum of the University of Edinburgh VOL.I – Pathology, published in 1909.

Anatomical Museum (Pathology) 7261


Ever wanted to know what it's like to be the Head of Special Collections and the career path to getting there? There's still time to sign up for VOiCE's first Meet the Series of the semester with our very own Daryl Green. Join us tomorrow at 12pm by registering on our Eventbrite page:

Edinburgh University Arts & Heritage Society Edinburgh University History Society Edinburgh University Library School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, University of Edinburgh


Día de los Mu***os is nearing. Who wants tequila?! Not yet 21? How about fruit, or nuts, or chocolate while you celebrate? You can thank bats for these tasty party essentials:

are ecologically and economically valuable:

--They pollinate plants like: agave, which is used to make tequila; cacao (hello, chocolate!); mangoes; and bananas.

--They save U.S. farmers over $3 billion (!) every year in pest control services by eating insects that destroy crops, and they don’t charge a penny.

We’ll cheers to that.

Image: The lesser long-nosed bat pollinates desert plants like agave. This colorful one is covered in pollen. (Credit: National Park Service)


Vampires are not bats, and bats are not vampires, but vampire bats? Definitely real:

To pop culture’s credit, the fictional vampire/bat association is a little eerie. There’s the obvious: and vampires fly and they’re both nocturnal. But beyond the basics, bat poo can sparkle, not unlike glittery vampire skin (think Twilight). Bats and vampires are both super-fast – some bats can fly up to 100 miles/hour. There are even bats that are vampire-sized, like the flying fox with its up to 6-foot wingspan.

However, bats aren’t immortal – most live less than 20 years. That’s a shame because bats pollinate some of our favorite human foods and save us lots of money in pest control services. Can vampires do that? We think not.

These 9 especially enchanting bat species prove that reality is more fascinating than fiction:

Image: This common vampire bat is pretty adorable. (Credit: D. Streicker, courtesy of the National Science Foundation)


Our VOiCE team's online 'Meet the ...' series is back for the new semester on Thursday 21st from 12pm -1pm! This time featuring our Head of Special Collections, Daryl Green. Hear about Daryl's path to becoming Head of Special Collections, learn more about his current role and get involved by asking any questions that you have. Sign up to attend on Eventbrite:


On we are excited to launch our online exhibition 'Mindshift: Confronting a Colonial Collection'. This collaborative work explores the colonial roots of the collection at the Anatomical Museum and the new ways that we are working with it today.


Justin Rowlatt tells the story of how our planet was made


👏🙌It's here! starts today! Who is ready for a month of ? We are!

There is still plenty of time to take part and get involved, head to our website to find out more 👉

Remember to tag us when you take part, and submit photos and videos alongside your results. Can't wait to see you out there hunters 💪


Today we are pleased to announce the launch of ‘ and Revolution’, an online marking the 250th anniversary of the author’s birth. The exhibition presents Scott in a fresh and unexpected light. It shows how Scott lived through an age of , and how his best-selling and were a vivid and powerful response to revolutionary change.


A series of active landslides stretch several kilometres in the cliffs to the south of Scarborough.


Scientists are excavating one of the most important Jurassic sites ever discovered in the UK.

A Podcast Update! Listen an episode of We've got History Between Us, with Gillian McCay, assistant curator at the Cockbu...

A Podcast Update! Listen an episode of We've got History Between Us, with Gillian McCay, assistant curator at the Cockburn Museum! Thanks to the team at UoE Collections VOiCE (Volunteers in Collections Engagement)

Here: 🚨

Hello and welcome to 'We’ve got History Between Us'. This podcast is brought you to by VOiCE – Volunteers in Collections Engagement. Over the coming months We’ve Got History will be exploring the different aspects of Collections, Archives, the wider museum circuit and heritage sector. We’re ...


Edge Hill has launched a fascinating new Masters degree in Nineteenth Century Studies that will take students on a journey through the culture, literature, people and history of the nineteenth century.


As part of 𝗘𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗵 𝗗𝗮𝘆, 𝗚𝗲𝗼𝗡𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗿 is looking for drone pilots to help monitor sea cucumbers and their habitat around the world, and 𝘄𝗲 𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗱 𝗬𝗢𝗨! Take your drone for a spin on a coastal mapping mission at low tide from 20m altitude with your camera facing down and you can help us understand more about these animals and their contribution to local ecosystems.

Follow our easy step by step process to get mapping with your drone here:

Upload your data to GeoNadir ( and tag with ‘𝘀𝗲𝗮 𝗰𝘂𝗰𝘂𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿𝘀’ and we’ll do the science, we just need your pics! And remember, even if you don’t find any sea cucumbers, this is still important for us to know. We want to know where they are, as well as where they are not :)

For more information about how we can use drones to count sea cucumbers, check out

How can I help you help us?


🇮🇸 🌋 La forza primigenia della natura islandese si sta manifestando in tutta la sua potenza. Gli scienziati indicano che ci sono ragioni per ritenere che stiamo assistendo alla formazione di un vulcano a scudo. La maggior parte delle eruzioni di questo tipo è avvenuta tra i 10.000 e i 5000 anni fa, in Islanda, con l'eccezione della nascita dell'isola di Surtsey, a metà del secolo scorso. Non è possibile accertarne la natura per ora, ma se questa ipotesi fosse corretta, tale eruzione potrebbe proseguire per anni. Ciò la renderebbe e non già speciale, ma addirittura unica.

Nel frattempo le misurazioni hanno rilevato un aumento pericoloso di gas velenosi, e la zona è stata temporaneamente chiusa al pubblico. la protezione civile ne ha approfittato per installare un minimo di segnaletica per facilitare i visitatori e prevenire problemi.

Questa foto l'ho tenuta per ultima perché è la mia preferita: appaiono molto chiaramente le dimensioni del neonato cono vulcanico (che nel frattempo è collassato e si è riformato un paio di volte), e rende l'idea della piccolezza umana rispetto alle forze naturali. Un concetto che tendiamo a dimenticare nelle nostre realtà più antropizzate, inclusa la capitale islandese! Per fortuna qui basta un breve viaggio in macchina e una camminata, per trovarsi faccia a faccia con queste forze primordiali!


Ingenious, Indigenous cartography: The Tunumiit (Eastern Greenlandic Inuit) practice of carving portable maps out of driftwood to be used while navigating coastal waters. These pieces, which are small enough to be carried in a mitten, represent coastlines in a continuous line, up one side of the wood and down the other. The maps are compact, buoyant, and can be read in the dark.

Baby tyrannosaurs were only the size of a Border Collie dog when they took their first steps, a team of palaeontologists...

Baby tyrannosaurs were only the size of a Border Collie dog when they took their first steps, a team of palaeontologists has discovered.

Dr Greg Funston, of the university's School of GeoSciences, said: "These bones are the first window into the early lives of tyrannosaurs and they teach us about the size and appearance of baby tyrannosaurs.

Well Done Greg!

Scans of fossilised dinosaur remains reveal they were about 3ft long when they took their first steps.

Hahaha - Classic... I feel like I see these facial expressions on video calls when the internet freezes.

Hahaha - Classic... I feel like I see these facial expressions on video calls when the internet freezes.

How are you feeling today on a scale of CP Dinosaurs?

We're in a seven-ish kind of mood this morning 😉


Our friend Natalie is at it again!

Our friend Natalie is at it again!

Identifying interstellar objects is about right place right time more than people think.

Natalie Starkey joins Neil deGrasse Tyson and Chuck Nice to discuss 'Oumuamua, the first detected interstellar object that passed through the solar system.


The marine reptile was found buried head-first on the shore near Kimmeridge Bay in Dorset.

Just a little things we will be doing next week... Elise Newcomer Ramsay and I will be talking about what we have been d...

Just a little things we will be doing next week... Elise Newcomer Ramsay and I will be talking about what we have been doing with the Charles Lyell collection of specimens, papers, and notebooks - book yourself a spot on this exciting event next Thursday 10 December at 1pm GMT.

A behind-the-scenes look at the geological collection of Sir Charles Lyell and his connection with Darwin and climate change research.


Talking to... YOU...

SCOTTISH GEOLOGY FESTIVAL 2020!Follow the link to join in!


Follow the link to join in!

Uncategorised Scottish Geology Festival 2020 Scotland’s geological heritage has attracted international interest for centuries and with renown sites on our doorstep, even in Scotland’s capital, it’s been agreed a celebration inviting all to explore these incredible places is well overdue. The ...

Our friend Natalie Starkey answering your questions!  !

Our friend Natalie Starkey answering your questions! !

It’s Cosmic Queries time!
Ask astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and cosmochemist and author Natalie Starkey, PhD, questions about NEOWISE and other comets. Ask your questions in the comments below. Deadline: 10pm ET 7/23.


Grant Institute, King's Buildings

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm




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Help! I am trying to get some seemingly unusual rocks identified that I found up in the Highlands about three months ago. I have sent emails but no reply and have recently tried phoning a number of times but no answer and I would be grateful if I could arrange a time when I could bring my rocks in. I have taken them to the geology shop in the Grassmarket and the owner has told me that you are the best people to contact. He and his assistant could not identify them and thought them uncommon and would be very interested to know what they are. They may well be nothing exciting but as an amateur enthusiast wanting to learn more I would very much like to know. Much appreciated, Eddie.
So when are we gonna get one of these?