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Online talk May 2023 – Robert Pyle (Previously Angharad Gatehouse)

Virtual Event Virtual Event

3 May 2023 @ 19:30 20:45

The Royal Entomological Society organises insect science conferences and events around the UK and the world for people at all stages of career and interest.

Becoming a member entitles you to discounted (and sometimes free) access to the majority of events.

The Royal Entomological Society’s online talk series

These online meetings take place on the first Wednesday of the month from 19.30 to 20.45 (UK time).

There will also be an opportunity to hear some exciting updates about the Society and its activities.

Note: All attendees, including members, must register below to receive the link to attend the talk.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Angharad Gatehouse’s talk scheduled for Wednesday 3 May has been swapped with next month’s speaker, Robert Pyle.

Angharad’s talk is now scheduled to Wednesday 7 June – Should you wish to re-register, do feel free to do this here so we can keep you updated on the meeting.

Please do join us instead on Wednesday 3 May for Robert Pyle’s talk:

Robert Pyle

Speaker: Robert Michael Pyle


Founder of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

From Monks Wood to Hollywood: Fifty Years in Insect Conservation

Dr Robert (Bob) Pyle Hon.FRES is a poet and general author of note, winner of various literary prizes including a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is an American lepidopterist, writer, teacher, and founder of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Much of his life story is told in the 2020 feature film The Dark Divide, where Pyle is played by David Cross.

Among the books where he brings art and literature to insect natural history are The Art of the Butterfly; Nabokov’s Butterflies; and Chasing Monarchs: A Migration with the Butterflies of Passage (1999), the last an unusual combination of original research presented as a popular book, in which he tracked the southerly migration of western Monarchs over many weeks, thereby demonstrating for the first time that certain individuals crossed the Rockies, providing mixing of the eastern and western populations, which had hitherto been considered separate and more vulnerable.

During three years in 1979-82 at the IUCN/WWF’s international Conservation Monitoring Centre at Cambridge, UK, Bob co-compiled (with Sue Wells and Mark Collins) and co-authored the first IUCN Invertebrate Red Data Book, which laid the blueprint for all subsequent global assessments. He then spent two years establishing butterfly conservation in Papua New Guinea – where it was pretty much unknown – including the sustainable breeding of common species for butterfly farms and the conservation of Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing. In Australia, Bob Pyle is revered as one of the ‘big three’ pioneers of global butterfly conservation. He has also taught, lectured and inspired others repeatedly across Europe, as various nations ‘discovered’ and grew concerned about declining butterfly populations.


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