Chris Packham And A Tortoise Called Charles Darwin

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Cathy Holden writes:

“The Patron of Fleet Pond Society (FPS), the naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham, opened a new science complex at the University of Lincoln on 14th April 2015 with the aid of a tortoise called Charles Darwin! The latter had been training hard in order to cut the ribbon by biting through his favourite Rocket and Dandelion vegetation (see pictures above and below, as well as the gallery here).

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Chris Packham has been appointed a Visiting Professor at the University of Lincoln and will be teaching undergraduates on Zoology, Biology, Biomedical/Bioveterinary Science and Animal Behaviour and Welfare courses (see also the video clip below).

Professor Packham said: ‘If you really care for a subject, you should teach it and I am delighted by this opportunity to share my passion for wildlife and my experiences of some of the most urgent conservation issues we face.

I have been extremely fortunate to have been able to pursue a career in the areas which fascinate and impassion me. The future is in the hands of this generation and I hope to contribute to preparing them for this responsibility. There is simplicity in nature’s perfection and so much to learn. I am envious of the students at Lincoln who are embarking on that journey of discovery.’

Dr Libby John, Head of the School of Life Sciences, said:
‘We are delighted to welcome Professor Packham to the academic community at the University of Lincoln. At Lincoln we provide our students with a varied and engaging programme of scientific study. They have the opportunity to work closely with world class academics on research projects, engage in international fieldtrips and conduct a wide variety of project work. Professor Packham will bring a challenging and stimulating insight to our conservation teaching.’

Chris’s interest in wildlife was formed at a young age, studying kestrels, shrews and badgers in his teens and undergraduate days. After graduation, he began taking still photographs and trained as a wildlife film cameraman. His photography continues with exhibitions and invitations to judge prestigious competitions but the camerawork gave way to presenting.

In 2010 Chris was awarded the Dilys Breese BTO Medal for ‘his outstanding work in promoting science to new audiences’ and he is an enthusiastic supporter of many wildlife, conservation or environmental charities. He ran the hugely successful production company ‘Head over Heels‘ making programmes for Animal Planet, National Geographic, ITV and the BBC.

Professor Chris Packham officially opened the University of Lincoln’s state-of-the-art Joseph Banks Laboratories on Tuesday 14th April 2015. The same day he delivered his inaugural public lecture to around 300 students.”

The above article first appeared in the FPS Newsletter for Spring 2015. If you’d like to receive this, please consider joining the Society, we’re always keen on new members! Joining instructions are here.

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