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We look forward to welcoming you to the next instalment in the FBA's seminar series, entitled "A Life in Streams" by Professor of Ecology, Alan Hildrew
Alan is an Emeritus Professor of Ecology at Queen Mary's University of London, as well as an FBA Fellow. He has been involved with the FBA for many years - first visiting Ferry House, to see Dr Macan, in 1968 or 69, has served on Council several times, and was Chairman and President of the Association through some difficult times. As an early protagonist for a European organisation (now EFFS and the SEFS symposia) he can proudly lay claim to being a founder, along with, first, then Director Gwyn Jones and subsequently the late lamented Colin Reynolds. Alan's routes in freshwater science run deep; he was also Editor of Freshwater Biology from 1982 for over 33 years, along with his long term colleague Colin Townsend (In New Zealand from 1988). Scientifically, he has been interested in the benthos (particularly caddis flies) of streams and rivers with a particular interest in small streams and is delighted at the new research interest in the importance of headwaters and temporary and intermittent streams. Now retired from professional research, he is writing a new textbook with Paul Giller (Cork and ex FBA Council) - which is now nearly finished.
“I was always interested in fresh water - having started out as a childhood fisherman (and now gone back to it). However, I always found the little things (though not too little!) - more interesting! My mother’s family had a farm on the Banks of the Swale in north Kent, so I spent time wandering the salt marshes there and dipping into the drainage dykes. I saw a mass of elvers migrate onto the marshes at a moonlit high tide, over the lip of a drainage sill, and it remains one of the most magical things I’ve ever seen.
I was, and still am, mainly interested in the details of natural history and basic ecology, but have had at least to try to involve myself in policy and bigger scale issues - I don’t find it easy! I’ve been involved with the FBA for many years - I think I first visited Ferry House, to see Dr Macan, in 1968 or 69 (the 60s are a bit of a blur!). I particularly like small streams and am delighted at the new research interest in the importance of headwaters and temporary and intermittent streams. Now retired from professional research, I am writing a new textbook with Paul Giller (Cork and ex FBA Council) - which is now nearly finished, It has forced me to read widely and I have learned a lot (I hope)."
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