Simon Hinkley

Collection Manager, Entomology & Arachnology

Man in front of wood cabinets
Simon Hinkley in the Entomology Collection.
Image: Nicole Alley
Source: Museum Victoria

Simon is responsible for managing, maintaining and providing access to Museum Victoria’s collection of Entomology and Arachnology fauna and their data.


Simon commenced at the Museum in 1994, initially in the Invertebrate Survey Department as part of a team looking at the diversity of native insects in various vegetation types in North Central Victoria. Simon was involved in other surveys including a three-year project to provide a baseline fauna of Victoria’s Box-Ironbark region. He has also worked in Central Australia, Victoria’s mallee region and extensively in South Gippsland on the endangered Giant Gippsland Earthworm and threatened species of freshwater burrowing crayfish. A highlight was working with David Attenborough on his documentary Life in the Undergrowth which incorporated the Giant Gippsland Earthworm.

Simon then became a collection manager and has been involved in a number of projects such as the image capture for the Pest and Disease Image Library, (PaDIL), a website designed to provide diagnostic images of invertebrate species that we are trying to keep out of Australia. This website has now broadened to also look at biodiversity.

The Arachnology and Entomology collections comprise more than 2.5 million specimens stored in 70% alcohol or as pinned specimens housed in historic and modern cabinets. Museum Victoria holds a number of important historic collections and many thousands of scientifically irreplaceable ‘type’ specimens, specimens used in the scientific description of species. Simon works to ensure the collection is made as accessible as possible while at the same time securing its long term preservation.

Current activities:

Simon works to ensure the Entomology and Arachnology Collections are as accessible as possible while at the same time securing their long term preservation. In addition to collection management tasks, Simon is involved in photographing the thousands of type specimens for the museum’s electronic database, thus making them available to a wider audience. Simon also answers requests for identifications and information from other institutions and members of the public.

Last updated 16 July 2012