Art & Science.
On Show In Nature
Art & Science
On Show In Nature
Awe-inspiring for the curious, a visual display for the creative
Since 2018, the Sea Urchin Science Centre and Gallery in the lower Blue Mountains village of Kurrajong has been welcoming visitors, with intimate guided tours allowing people to gain a full appreciation for these remarkable marine creatures. The gallery’s owner and curator, Ashley Miskelly, has had a lifelong fascination for sea urchins ever since he received his first specimen as a young teenager in 1982. Over the years he has grown his incredible collection and carefully studied their life history. A gallery unlike any other in Australia, the Sea Urchin Science Centre and Gallery is built with the care, dedication and passion for the rich biodiversity of sea urchins.
When childhood curiosity becomes a lifelong passion
1995 - Present
1996 - 2002
Second stage with the Census of Coral Reefs, this time participating on Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef. As on Ningaloo Reef, together with other enthusiastic taxonomists, I was responsible for identification of the Echinoderm species present.
Earlier in the same year, I was contracted by the CSIRO and Australian Museum for the identification of echinoid species for the “Voyage of Discovery” project which were acquired from deep water. Additional areas sampled for sea urchins included the Tasmanian Seamounts and the North West Shelf, Western Australia.
Feb - Mar 2009
Three week long Census of Coral Reefs Lizard Island Expedition for the identification of Echinoderm species. Involves day and night SCUBA dives in various locations on the outer reef with some snorkeling to Palfrey Island and along Casuarina Beach.
Oct 2010 - Apr 2011
The Australian Antarctic Division buys a copy of “Sea Urchins of the World.” On its merit, I am asked to join the science team, and as a researcher and sea urchin taxonomist spend 6 months at Davis Station, Antarctica, “The Riviera of the South." Studying the five heart urchin species that occur there, I was able to provide a revised key to species. I also devised a method to determine the sex of the species Sterechinus neumayeri from live animals.
This was imperative for our ocean acidification projects with Sydney University and the Australian Antarctic Division as it delayed the spawning process. Subsequently, I held a workshop for those involved in the projects focusing on Antarctic sea urchin species identification.
Jan - Feb 2012
Sydney to Kalumbaru, W.A. and top end of Western Australia as part of a research project with the Australian Museum revising the classification of Assiminids (mangrove snails). The species Ovassiminea miskellyi is named in my honour.
Later in the year, my travels take me from Sydney to Cape York, North Queensland as a continuation of the project with the Australian Museum collecting and observing brackish water and terrestrial snails.