POTTED BIOGRAPHY . . . .
A bird nut since the age of 11; was at school at St Stithians College in Johannesburg and at university at Wits (BSc 1965, MSc cum laude 1979, PhD 1991); and Sheffield (UK) (MSc 1972); began my working life in 1966 as a geologist but changed subject-matter for something less inert in 1974 to pursue a career in ornithology, working for 22 years as a specialist scientist (birds) with the then Transvaal Directorate of Nature Conservation. Free-lancing since then. PhD was aimed at unravelling the very complicated and bizarre mating system of the African Jacana (shown above).
A member of BirdLife South Africa (originally Southern African Ornithological Society) since a schoolboy (1958); served on its Rarities Committee for 9 years, on its council for 11 years, and as its president from 1996-2000; was awarded by BLSA the Gill Memorial Medal 'for services to ornithology south of the Zambezi' in 1996 and, by the Zoological Society of SA, the Stevenson-Hamilton Award 'for exceptional contributions to zoology' in 2007. Other memberships include Zoloogical Soc of SA, British Ecological Soc; SA Institute of Ecologists and Enviro Scientists, American Birding Association, World Dragonfly Association, Societas Internationalis Odonatologica.
Have authored or co-authored about 40 scientific papers on birds, 200 or more short notes and popular articles, and a number of books, pictured alongside. Favourite group of birds? Woodpeckers. Least favourite? Seabirds, in any form and especially from a boat!
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