PMNHS Annual Conference

Porcupine Marine Natural History Society Annual Conference 2019:

March 23-24, St Fagan’s Museum, Cardiff

Registration for the Porcupine Annual Conference 2019 is open!

Register via Eventbrite here

Download the revised programme 

Download the book of abstracts here.

‘Marine Life in a Changing World’

In a world of changing climate, habitats and politics, we look at what is happening with and affecting the life in our seas around Britain and the wider northeast Atlantic environment. Topics presented will include work on intertidal ecology, shark genetics, ray distribution, cephalopods, herring, scallops, sediment contamination and, of course, Brexit, as well as results from the Society’s own 2018 field trips and details of upcoming ones in 2019.

St Fagan's Museum, Cardiff

St Fagan’s Museum, Cardiff

Confirmed speakers include:

Jean-Luc Solandt (Marine Conservation Society)

Cat Gordon (Shark Trust)

Bernadette Clarke (Cardiff University)

Samantha Hook (Manchester University)

Becky Hitchin (JNCC)

Rebecca MacDonald (Somerset Wildlife Trust)

David Little (Independent Consultant)

Phil Newman (Natural Resources Wales)

Blaise Bullimore (Independent) & Kate Lock (Natural Resources Wales)

Dave Clarke (SeaCAMS)

Elisabeth Morris-Webb (Bangor University)


Cardiff previously hosted the annual conference in 2003 at the National Museum of Wales in Cathays Park in the city centre. This year our venue will be the newly re-developed National History Museum at St Fagan’s, part of the same organisation, just outside the city centre.

The new galleries, showcasing the past and recent history of Wales, are located just along the balcony from the conference lecture theatre and are highly recommended for a visit and there should be time during lunch breaks to do so if wished.


Registration costs have been retained at the same level as 2018 and include all refreshments as well as lunch on both days (please state any dietary requirements during the registration process), providing excellent value over the 2 day period. A conference dinner will be held on the evening of 23rd March and can be booked as an optional extra during the Eventbrite process (see below for details of the restaurant and menu).

Registration fees are:

2 days, member: £80

2 days, non-member: £90

1 day, member: £40

1 day, non-member: £45

A limited number of reduced fee places are available for students. Please contact Teresa Darbyshire ( directly for information on student fees.

Non-members are always welcome to attend the conference, but please consider joining PMNHS before you book. Try it for a year which will give you access to papers from the conference that will be published in the subsequent Bulletin.

Conference Dinner

The Cosy Club is described as a “bright, spacious open-plan pub with mismatched furniture and an international, all-day menu”.  It is an informal, first-floor venue in central Cardiff, happy to cater for large parties. The special party menu consists of sharing platters for starters, and a good choice of main courses, including vegetarian options.  Gluten free, dairy free and vegan options are also available. A link to the party menu can be found here: or it can be downloaded here .

Orders are taken on the night, so no pre-orders and then forgetting what you’ve ordered or changing your mind on the day!  The maximum number they can take is 60, so please book your place in good time.

The cost will be £20 per head, payable at the time of booking your conference place.  This amount covers the cost of starters and main courses from the party menu plus a service charge.  It DOES NOT include sides or desserts, so these, along with your drinks, should be paid for on the night.

Location: The Cosy Club – 1, Hills Street, Cardiff, CF10 2LE.

It is just off The Hayes, opposite TKMaxx and Miller & Carter and close to The Hayes Island Snackbar complex.  Look out for the Hugo Boss store and the entrance is right next to it.   Be aware that whilst it is very central, it is in the middle of the pedestrianised area.  Nearest parking is in the St David’s 2 carpark or the basement of John Lewis.

When you book your place at the conference, please remember to indicate any dietary requirements so that we can give the restaurant advance warning.

How to get here

To Cardiff:

Cardiff is easily accessed by road, rail, bus or air.

By plane: both Bristol airport and Cardiff airport have public transport links that will bring you into the heart of the city in less than an hour. Please visit the respective airport websites for details.

By train: Cardiff is around 2 hours by train direct from London and has direct rail links to many other parts of the country. Cardiff Central station is located in the south of the city centre and is only a short walking distance from most city centre hotels.

By bus: National Express coaches stop several places in Cardiff with the main coach station being at Sophia Gardens just on the edge of the city centre, perfectly located for the numerous guesthouses on Cathedral Road or a short walk to the city centre hotels.

By car: the M4 is the only motorway into South Wales, intersecting with the M5 at Bristol. With the removal of the tolls from the Severn Bridges there is now no cost to entry (!)  and far less delays at peak times.

To the venue:

By car:

St Fagan’s National Museum of History is located 4 miles west of Cardiff City Centre, just off the A4232. The Museum is signposted from junction 33 of the M4 motorway (follow road signs for the Museum of Welsh Life), with direct access from the A4232. For satellite navigation purposes use the post code CF5 6XB.

Parking: £5.00 per day pay and display. Please bring change as machines cannot accept notes or card payments. Free for disabled badge holders and motorbikes.

By public transport:

Although there are public transport links to the Museum in St Fagan’s, none operate early or late enough to accommodate the conference times. (The Museum does not open to the public until 10am each day).  We therefore ask that delegates make their own way to the venue. Taxis are plentiful around Cardiff, and the main operators are:

Dragon Taxis: 029 20 333333

Capital cabs: 029 20 777777

Premier cabs: 029 20555555

Uber: use the Uber app or see for how to book an Uber ride

In exceptional circumstances we may be able to offer some support to individuals who will have difficulty making their own arrangements, by linking people up to share transport.  If this is the case, then please get in touch via and we will do our very best to help.


A list of central hotels and guesthouses, as well as some further out, to suit varying budgets, is provided here:  Hotel list for Cardiff PMNHS Conference 2019

The list is not comprehensive, but will give an idea of locations of the main options.  Other options such as hostels and AirBnB are not included but again there are many to be found centrally.

Pre-conference Events: Friday 22nd March

Collections Tours: Mollusca and Marine Invertebrates

Melvill-Tomlin Mollusca collection at the National Museum Wales

Melvill-Tomlin Mollusca collection at the National Museum Wales

Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales in Cathays Park in the centre of Cardiff houses the Nation’s natural history, geology and art collections. The Mollusca collection is the 2nd largest mollusc collection in the UK with over 2 million specimens covering terrestrial, freshwater and marine species. Highlights include the Melvill-Tomlin bequest with 85000 lots, rich in historical and type specimens, bivalves from the UK, Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Oman and the William Evans Hoyle cephalopod collection.

The marine invertebrate collections represent over 20 marine phyla (not including the distinct Mollusca collections). Over 60 countries are represented by nearly 0.75 million specimens although the collection is predominantly British. There are also large dry collections of crustaceans and corals.

Tours will encompass both marine and mollusc collections. Spaces are limited due to space in the stores so booking is essential.

Time: 3.30-4.30pm (1 hr duration)

Spaces: 20 (2 tours of 10 persons running simultaneously)

Cost: FREE

To book contact Anna Holmes: by 21st March 2019.

If you book but can no longer make it, please contact Anna immediately to release your space for other people.

Mollusc & Polychaete workshops

The content and length of this workshop will be tailored according to interest.

Options are:

  1. Workshop looking at the identification of both molluscs and polychaetes, particularly those most likely to be encountered by divers and shore surveyors; highlighting problem groups and using museum specimens to work with.
  • Cost: £30
  • 10-3pm, lunch not included
  • Min no. required: 6
  1. Drop-in session to discuss identification problems, museum specimens available where possible to aid discussions and identification.
  • Cost: £20
  • Available from 1-3pm
  • Min no. required: 1

For further details and to discuss requirements, contact Teresa Darbyshire: by 22nd February at the latest to allow time for organisation.

Field trip

Previous conferences have offered a day trip either before or after the conference to a local shore for collecting and/or recording purposes. Unfortunately Cardiff, located in the Severn Estuary, does not have close access to shores that harbour much variety of marine life. For this reason we are not organising a field trip this year. However, there will be a field trip later in the year that members can attend if interested, details of which will be announced at the conference and in the Spring 2019 Bulletin.

Meanwhile offers to present a paper or poster are welcome and can be sent to: