J P Hill Collection

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The Hill Embryological Collection

The first 12 years of Hill's career were spent in Australia. During this period he established an extrodinary collection of marsupial and monotreme embryos. In the words of his mentor, JT Wilson (in 1906) " "By his diligence and industry in this department [collecting] he has gradually acquired a collection of marsupial embryological material which might lead to international complications if the versatile Kaiser were perchance to become interested in zoology." (JP Hill, An Appreciation)

Hill brought this collection to London when he took up his teaching position at UCL and added to it specimens obtained in by trips to South America, and specimens of monotremes provided by T. Flynn and Wilson.

After his death these specimens, and all associated records (collection notebooks, as well as detailed laboratory notebooks, unpublished notes, and many, many exquisite illustrations, both published and unpublished) were cataloged by his daughter, Catherine Hill and eventually donated to the Hubrecht Laboratory to join the extensive embryological collections deposited by Hubrecht at his death. This collection, which included original research material by Spemann, was an extrodinary resource for comparative embryology and evolutionary biology.

In 2004, the Hubrecht Laboratory decided to no longer support this collection. Fortunately the collection has found a new home at the Museum fur Naturkunde, Berlin.

Hubrecht lab

Museum fur Naturkunde, Berlin

dasyurus embryo Drawing of Dasyurus embryo from the Hill Collection






Further information on the Hill/Hubrecht collection:

Faasse, P., J. Faber and J. Narraway (1999) A brief history of the Hubrecht Laboratory. International Journal of Developmental Biology. 43.

Richardson, M. K. and J. Narraway (1999) A treasure house of comparative embryology. International Journal of Developmental Biology 43.

The special issue of the International Journal of Developmental Biology on the history of the Hubrecht lab (vol. 43, issue 7) is available with open access at the Journals website.


JP Hill biography

JP Hill and the Neural Crest

Material in the Neural Crest study


The Hill Embryological Collection

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