Collection Manager, Invertebrate Zoology

Chicago, IL
Full Time


The Field Museum is a not-for-profit museum located on Chicago’s Museum Campus. In the Field's 125+ year history, which started in 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exposition in the “White City,” we have engaged in research on all seven continents, cultivated a collection of over 40 million specimens and objects, engaged with hundreds of thousands of students from Chicago and the surrounding areas, and welcomed millions of visitors to the Museum each year. We accomplish this through the efforts of our dynamic and diverse staff of not only scientists and educators, but also front line staff in Visitor Services and Membership, Protection Services, Facility Planning and Operations, as well as behind the scenes support staff. 


The Field Museum is hiring a Collection Manager to oversee its world-class recent invertebrate collections.


The Field Museum houses one of the world’s largest collections of zoological specimens. The 5 million-specimen Invertebrates Collection comprises over 400,000 catalog entries. The actively growing collection serves as a research resource for national and international scientific communities. Containing unique material of special historical and ecological significance, the collection is world-class in size, as well as taxonomic breadth and geographic scope.


With a primary focus on Mollusca, the collection encompasses all invertebrate groups except arachnids, myriapods, and insects. The phylum Mollusca comprises 95% of the total collection and is worldwide in scope, with 45% of holdings terrestrial, 40% marine and 15% freshwater. Around 10% of the mollusk collection is fluid preserved, with the vast majority of specimens stored dry. Within the 17,000 non-molluscan lots, crustaceans, echinoderms, and cnidarians comprise the largest holdings; of these 70% are fluid preserved. Noteworthy are several thousand lots (molluscan and non-molluscan) from deep-sea habitats including hydrothermal vents, cold seeps, and wood falls. Approximately 2,000 tissue samples for genetic resources are stored in the Cryogenic Facility. Data are managed on an Axiell EMu platform. Ongoing efforts are focusing on digitization of specimen data and images, geo-referencing, and the assorted mobilization of data to national and global aggregators such as IDigBio and GBIF. 

Applications must include a Cover Letter, CV, and contact details for three references to be considered. Review of applications will begin on January 15, 2022. 

Please send all application materials to 


Duties and Responsibilities

The Collection Manager reports to the Head of Zoological collections and leads day-to-day activities in the Invertebrates Collection, including management of staff. The Collection Manager works jointly with Curators to set long and short-term priorities for the Invertebrates Collection. The Collection Manager also interacts with other collections areas, research scientists, exhibitions developers, and education staff. The Collection Manager may pursue research for up to 20% of their work time and seek funding for collections improvements and collections-based research projects. The successful candidate will be evaluated on the demonstrated ability to promote, study, build, care for, and ensure accessibility to a large, active, and diverse collection.

Responsibilities include:

  • Managing digitization tasks including basic data entry, imaging specimens, geo-referencing, species inventory, and development and evaluation of workflows and standards to ensure best practices
  • Incorporating new material into the collection, preparing, sorting, identifying, and cataloging specimens
  • Tracking and reporting metrics of collection use and growth
  • Managing the Invertebrates Collection budget
  • Coordinating an active loan program and on-site use of the collection by researchers
  • Actively interacting with, and keeping abreast of, relevant developments in the collections field, such as those coordinated and promoted by IDigBio and SPNHC
  • Participating in the museum’s public programming and promoting the mission of the museum and its fundraising goals
  • Supporting the museum’s commitment to increasing diversity, access, and inclusion across its programs
  • Training, mentorship, and supervision of staff, interns, and volunteers in the collection
  • Fundraising to support the collection through targeted proposal development



  • Masters in Biology (with an emphasis in an area of Invertebrate Zoology) with at least 3 years collections experience or PhD (with an emphasis in Invertebrate Zoology) with at least one year experience. A well-versed background in Invertebrate Zoology and museology is required, preferably with a focus on malacology; familiarity with other invertebrate collections and research is desirable
  • Knowledge of taxonomic principles and invertebrate collection management
  • Strong organizational skills necessary to keep collection accessible
  • Ample experience with collection databases, imaging systems, and data aggregators is required, as is experience managing digitization projects
  • Working knowledge of international and domestic regulations for shipment of specimens and requirements for packing loans
  • Strong history of building and managing a diverse team of staff, interns, and volunteers
  • Strong communication skills including electronic and written formats, public speaking and proposal preparation
  • Ability to work with a variety of preservation chemicals (e.g., ethanol)


Important Note: In order to protect the health and safety of our employees, guests and their families, the Field Museum is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Requests for exemptions from the vaccine will not be considered as given the nature of this position, we are unable to provide an accommodation for anyone who has not been vaccinated. 


The Field Museum is an equal opportunity workplace and employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity, Veteran status, or any other protected class. We strive to create a working environment that is free of all forms of discrimination and one that promotes human dignity and mutual respect among all staff. We believe every member of our organization enriches our diversity by exposing us to a broad range of ways to understand and engage with the world, to identify challenges, and to discover, design, and deliver solutions.

The Field Museum strives to ensure that our career website and recruiting process are accessible to all. If you are unable or limited in your ability to use or access our online application, or if you require a reasonable accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, completing any pre-employment testing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to

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