Collaborative approaches to Integrated Pest Management in Museums, Galleries and Historic sites will be explored in this session. Australian conservators Rehan Scharenguivel (they/them) and Jessie Gray (she/her) will share their separate institutional experiences in collaborating with commercial operators and Amber Xavier-Rowe will provide an update to “Operation Cloths Moth” from English Heritage. We have also created a survey to better understand the state of IPM in our organisations. Link will be shared shortly.

Rehan Scharenguivel and Jessica Gray presentation summary:

Moist heat chambers allow for the ability to control the humidity of the chamber as it heats up, this greatly reduces the risk of damage to the material while eliminating pests. The presentation will discuss the heat treatment methodologies and outline the collaboration between the Australian Museum and a quarantine company in Sydney to conduct a heat treatment. A second example will be given by the Museum of Applied Arts and Science which also chose this methodology for their incoming material. The presentation will look at knowledge sharing and collaboration between organisations as a way of building IPM knowledge in Australia.

Amber Xavier Rowe presentation summary:

Insect Pest Management (IPM) has been established for over 25 years at English Heritage Trust a charity responsible for the care and presentation of over 400 sites and a million associated objects. Collections are present in 136 historic houses, castles, churches, museums and stores across England. IPM consisting of insect pest monitoring using traps at 70 sites with vulnerable collections, targeted cleaning and treatment using low toxicity insecticides, heat and freezing, has successfully mitigated the risk of damage from insect pests. We have been able to share our expertise and experience in effective IPM through the EHT poster Insect Pests in Historic Houses and Museums (3 rd edition recently published, available free and downloadable ) and our book Insect Pests in Houses Great and Small available at Amazon and the EHT website. This talk will share the key steps to establishing a successful long-term IPM programme using practical examples and case studies. It will also touch on our experience of raising the public profile of IPM and preventive conservation through the ‘Operation Clothes Moth’ campaign.

Thursday 22 July 2021


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Amber Xavier Rowe has been working at English Heritage Trust since 1994 and as Head of Collections Conservation since 1999. She is an expert in preventive conservation for heritage collections with extensive experience in Insect Pest Management. Previous to English Heritage she worked at The Leather Conservation Centre in Northampton UK and ArtLab Australia. Amber has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Conservation of Cultural Materials from Canberra University awarded April 1989, specialising in objects conservation. She has presented and published widely on IPM, strategic preventive conservation for dispersed collections and the construction of stores. Amber is an ICON accredited conservator restorer.

Rehan Scharenguivel (they/them) is the Collection Care Conservator for the Australian Museum, coordinating the Museum’s IPM and environmental systems, as well as other preventive programs. They have a keen interested in data analytics of pest information and exploring treatment options for cultural and scientific material.

Jessica Gray (she/her) is the Preventive Conservator at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS). Jessica specialises in preventive conservation and manages the Museum’s IPM and environmental monitoring programs. She is interested in IPM data analytics and sustainability in the museum sector.


Integrated Pest Management Survey

The AICCM Preventive SIG, in collaboration with conservators Rehan Scharenguivel (they/them) and Jessie Gray
(she/her), have created this survey to better understand Integrated Pest Management in Australia and Internationally. The survey results will be discussed during the online forum in the Agents of Change Webinar series on the 22 July and afterwards shared on the AICCM website.

The survey responses are anonymous and identifying details cannot be seen by anyone including the survey authors. Please be mindful of including any details that may identify you or your organisation in the open question sections. All survey responses are stored in a location that is password protected and cloud-based.

The survey will take only a few minutes to complete, please go here.

Thank you for your time and engagement in the 10 Agents over 10 Months series.