Bentley Bird

Woman with drawings of fish
Bentley Bird working with the Scientific Artwork Collection.

Assistant Vertebrate Collection Manager


Bentley received her Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida where she discovered her interest in birds. Global classroom ecology trips to Costa Rica furthered her curiosity in learning more about these feathered namesakes. After internships in shark conservation and a research project exercising lizards on tiny lizard treadmills, a year-long university exchange in Darwin brought Bentley to Australia for the first time. When she completed her time at the University of Florida in 2010, she came right back.

After a customer service stint at the Museum, Bentley started volunteering in the Marine Invertebrate Collection under the guidance of Melanie Mackenzie, registering (and counting) crustaceans in the order Cumacea. Soon after, Bentley volunteered with the bird team on the MV Grampians Bioscan in 2012. Shortly after, she began volunteering in the Vertebrate Collection as well, mostly with the Ornithology Collection.

When the MV Australian Alpine Bioscan came up in 2013, Bentley was ready for her second big field trip as part of the Ornithology team led by Dr Karen Rowe. This time Bentley was able to prepare birds in the field, something she had been eager to learn.

After two years of volunteering and one year as a Collection Registration Officer registering Scientific Artwork and Marine Invertebrates, Bentley secured her current position (and dream job) of Vertebrate Collection Manager. Being a collection manager is like being a librarian of sorts for the specimens housed behind the scenes of the museum.

Current activities

Every day is different in this job, but most of Bentley’s days at the museum are spent looking after the Vertebrate Collections in the back of house areas, facilitating visiting researchers, preparing loans, registering and preparing incoming specimens (particularly birds). She participates on the MV field trips as part of the bird team, and also does numerous public engagement activities, which she really loves. As a Collection Manager, Bentley does occasionally go to collect other vertebrate specimens such as the Fin Whale.

Last updated 22 June 2015


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