The Lost Species:
Great Expeditions in the Collections of Natural History Museums

Publication Date: 23 October 2017


"As part of the rising concern for global biodiversity, Christopher Kemp makes clear the value of preserved specimens in basic research. He successfully presents their study as part science, part history, and part adventure."
-- Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor, emeritus, Harvard University

“Natural history collections are vast, backlogged, error-riddled, or incompletely described. Think of all those expeditions in the 1800s and 1900s. Imagine drawers with thousands of beetles and flies, countless jars of marine invertebrates. What other treasures could those collections still be holding? Well, biologist Kemp wondered about that, too. And he went on a quest to uncover the forgotten collections and chronicled his findings in a book, The Last Species—new species that were only found with the help of natural history museums. . . . Amazing story.”
-- Ira Flatow ― Science Friday


Want To Find A New Species? Start In A Museum -
with guests Christopher Kemp and Regina Wetzer

8 June 2018

Science Friday is your trusted source for news and entertaining stories about science. It's brain fun for curious people. This episode was produced by Christie Taylor from WNYC Studios.

Review: The Natural Histories of The Lost Species

by David MacNeal

8 February 2018

‘Atomic’ tarantulas, pygmy bandicoots, squeaker frogs: All were first identified in museums, not in nature.

the endangered dead
by Christopher Kemp

Nature volume 518, pages292–294

18 February 2015

The billions of specimens in natural-history museums are becoming more useful for tracking Earth's shrinking biodiversity. But the collections also face grave threats.