Chair of Membership Committee
Year of Fellowship, 2018
A warm hello from me on behalf of all on the membership committee.
Like many other entomologists, my route to the insects has been circuitous. Having previously served in the RAF Regiment during the Cold War, I swapped light armour for books and lab benches, to study Zoology at Queen’s University, Belfast. Following this, my PhD was on reproduction in the infamous New Zealand flatworm at Queen’s and the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Belfast, with Archie Murchie, former RES secretary.
Following my PhD, I secured a post at the University of Aberdeen, which is where I remain. I mainly teach these days, my main fascination being for mosquitoes, but I’ve enjoyed working with colleagues on an anti-mosquito transmission-blocking vaccine and various taxa including ground beetles, cat fleas and wood ants.
On the ground, I still get up close and personal with insects on my field courses, a highlight being a new tracking and trailing field course we’ve developed at the university with partners in South Africa – the site is covered in termite nests and antlion traps – it doesn’t get much better than that!
I love being part of the entomological community and have really enjoyed developing ideas, including new benefits for members, some of which are now beginning to filter through to you. The future for the society is extremely bright and I feel lucky to be part of it. John.