The Natural History Museum of Rotterdam – since 1978 I am involved with the NMR, for years as a member of the board of the museum and in financial foundations that the museum support. Now I am volunteer advisor for the department of Fishes (Pisces). The photo above shows Erwin Kompanje, Frans Slieker and me, while disecting a sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus Linnaeus, 1758. This is one of three specimen stranded on Kijkduin beach in January 1995. It was extremely cold that day but you could warm your hands in the still warm muscle-tissue. Sperm whales are a returning phenomenon in my museum career… The photo’s below show Kees Moeliker (curator of the museum) and me during an other Sperm whale event. This time the sperm whale was a life-sized, 17 meters long, model made of fiberglass and part of an art project by Captain Boomer, a Belgian artists collective. It took place July 2008 on Scheveningen beach. The pernod afterwards tasted great.
For a short review of museum work, see Straatgras_1999_nr_1_Collectiebeheerders
WILCON – For over ten years I was the hon. secretary of board of the Moluccan and Papuan Wildlife Conservation Fund (WILCON). The foundation aims were to simulate research projects based on a small scale. Those projects should have goals like supporting nature conservation and preservation in South East Asia in general and in the Moluccas and Papua more specific. With the WILCON crew I made many travels through remote parts of the Indonesian archipelago. In 2013 we had to decide to quit with WILCON due to lack of funds. It is a pity but good things cannot go on for ever…
Fossil and rock hunting – as a result of my studies on Scaphopoda I became fascinated by fossils, rocks and minerals. From all parts of the world I collected ammonites, fossil wood, dinosaurs coprolites, meteorites etcetera.
Knives and knife-making – Native weapons from all over the world have always interested me, I can hardly resist to take them with me visiting remote places, so my house is decorated with shields en spears from Indonesia, Africa, Gaucho knives, Bows en arrows and a small but fine collection of Muela knives. For some years I make knives as well, mostly based steel forged by Indian and Scandinavian blacksmiths.
Seashells in general – Collecting tusk shells all over the world, I cannot resist to take other shell too. My favourite families are Cypraeidae (kauri shells) and Muricidae and Volutidae.
Dodo and coelacanth paraphernalia – Although I resisted it for a long time, i started collecting dodo and coelacanth memorabilia. I am always interested if you should have any surplus.