Contact Details

Dr Ben Rowson
Invertebrate Biodiversity
National Museum Cardiff

Cathays Park
CF10 3NP

Phone: +44 (0)29 2057 3110

Staff Name

Dr Ben Rowson

Job Title

Senior Curator: Invertebrate Biodiversity (Terrestrial Mollusca)

Areas of Responsibility:

Terrestrial molluscs.

Qualifications, memberships and relevant positions

BSc (Hons) Environmental Biology (St. Andrews); MSc Ecology (Bangor); PhD Systematics (Cardiff). Memberships: Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland; UNITAS Malacologica; Natural Sciences Collections Association (NatSCA); Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales.

Positions: Corresponding Member, Wales Biodiversity Partnership Invasive Non-native Species Group. Committee Member, Cardiff Scientific Society. Assessor, European Red List of Threatened Species, IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). Associate Tutor, The Field Studies Council. Editorial Assistant, Journal of Conchology (the world's oldest continuing publication on molluscs, published by the Conchological Society since 1874).

Research Interests

Malacology (the study of molluscs) based on museum shell, anatomical, and DNA/tissue collections, from urban and rural Wales to tropical rainforests. Current research focuses on: 1) past and present changes in the British slug fauna; 2) alpha taxonomy and biogeography in eastern Africa; and 3) the evolution of carnivorous “hunter snails” (Streptaxidae) worldwide. Findings are or have been applied to producing field guides, detecting invasive species and plant pests, reconstructing prehistoric environments, and parasitology. Results are communicated through talks, events, teaching, media, citizen science, and exhibitions as well as publication. Recent contract work on site/species surveys, archaeology, and conservation assessment.


Taxonomy, systematics, phylogeny, Mollusca, Gastropoda, slugs, snails, collections, environmental history, biodiversity, biogeography, DNA barcoding, recording, invasive species, tropical forests, Africa.


Selected Publications

Rowson B., Ablett J., Gallichan J., Holmes A. M., Oliver P. G., Salvador A., Turner J. A., Wood H., Brown C., Gordon D., Hunter T., Machin R., Morgenroth H., Reilly, M. Petts R. & Sutcliffe R. 2018. Mollusca Types in Great Britain. Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales / Natural History Museum. Available online at 

Aziz, N. A. A., Daly, E., Allen, S., Rowson, B., Greig, C., Forman, D., & Morgan, E. R. 2016. Distribution of Angiostrongylus vasorum and its gastropod intermediate hosts along the rural-urban gradient in two cities in the United Kingdom, using real time PCR. Parasites & Vectors, 9, 56. doi:10.1186/s13071-016-1338-3

Owen, C., Rowson, B., & Wilkinson, K. 2016. First record of the predatory semi-slug Daudebardia rufa (Draparnaud, 1805) from the UK (Eupulmonata: Daudebardiidae). Journal of Conchology, 42 (3), 119-121.

Rowson, B. 2015. Mollusca. In George Smith and Elizabeth A. Walker. Snail Cave rock shelter, North Wales: a new prehistoric site. Archaeologia Cambrensis, 163, 99-131.

Rowson, B., & Wood, A.H. 2015. Shells from Alfred Russel Wallace in the National Museum of Wales. Mollusc World,37, 19-23.

Rowson, B. 2014. 

The Long Reach of the Ghost Slug
, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales article

Rowson, B., Turner, J.A., Anderson, R., & Symondson, W.O.C. 2014. Slugs of Britain and Ireland: identification, understanding and control. Field Studies Council, Shropshire, UK, 140 pp.

Rowson, B., Anderson, R., Turner, J.A., & Symondson, W. O. C. 2014. The Slugs of Britain and Ireland: undetected and undescribed species increase a well-studied, economically important fauna by more than 20%. PLOS One,9 (3) e91907. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091907

Tattersfield, P., Rowson, B. & Gallichan, J. 2011. Bernard Verdcourt (1925-2011) – An Appreciation, Malacological Names and Bibliography. Journal of Conchology, 40 (6) 681-704.

Rowson, B., Warren, B.H., & Ngereza, C.F. 2010. Terrestrial molluscs of Pemba Island, Zanzibar, Tanzania, and its status as an “oceanic” island. ZooKeys, 70, 1-39.

Verdcourt, B., Wood, H, & Rowson, B. 2003. Thomas Pain (1915-2003). Journal of Conchology, 38, 179-191.