Professor Helen Chatterjee
I am a Professor of Biology in the Division of Biosciences, School of Life and Medical Sciences at UCL and Head of Research and Teaching in UCL Culture.
After completing a BSc in Natural Environmental Science and an MSc in Palaeoanthropology at the University of Sheffield, I moved to UCL in 1996 to undertake a PhD and took up the role of Curator at the Grant Museum of Zoology. I stayed at the Grant Museum for 10 years and continue to remain actively involved with museums. As well as my research, I am involved in teaching, supervising doctoral students and helping to deliver institutional strategic initiatives focused on teaching and research. In 2015, I was awarded an MBE for services to Higher Education and Culture.
My biological research is focused on primate evolution, biogeography and conservation. My recent work is examining the role of environmental change, particularly climate change, on species diversity and success. I have worked on gibbons, small apes from SE Asia, for over 20 years and sit on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Section on Small Apes.
My museological research investigates the value of cultural encounters to health, wellbeing and education. I have published numerous journal articles in this area and three books: Touch in Museums (2008; Berg), Museums, Health and Well-being (2013; Routledge) and Engaging the Senses: Object-Based Learning in Higher Education (2015; Routledge); I work with numerous museum partners as well as health and social care organisations. In 2015 I established the National Alliance for Museums, Health and Wellbeing.