On the day she delivers the first Mike Majerus Memorial Lecture, Dr Helen Roy of CEH reflects on just why Mike was such an inspirational scientist
Wonderful life: the legacy of an inspirational evolutionary biologist
Today I have the honour of giving the first Mike Majerus Memorial Lecture at the Royal Entomological Society's Annual Meeting (Ento ’12), hosted by Anglia Ruskin University.
Mike Majerus was an evolutionary ecologist with an enthusiasm for science communication and collaboration that was simply inspirational.
I met Mike in his beloved field station at Cambridge University during the early days of my PhD studies and can vividly remember my excitement. He had just published the New Naturalist Ladybirds – a book that had captivated me throughout the Christmas holidays. Surrounded by ladybirds, aphids and students, with ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ playing in the background, Mike was in utopia.
Mike was inspirational to so many people because of his knowledge, enthusiasm and passion for working with others. His ethos of collaboration resulted in a rich and productive research career – a wonderful life, not only for Mike, but also for those who had the opportunity to work with him. He encouraged everyone to communicate their research as widely as possible and he epitomised this through the invigorating way he chose to convey his excitement in the natural world.
Mike Majerus (right) describing ladybirds in winter for
BBC Radio 4's Saving Species programme.
Putting together the memorial lecture in his name has given me the opportunity to reflect on the many lessons that I learnt from Mike. It follows on from a week in which I have attended a two-day meeting convened by the Convention on Biological Diversity to develop a global partnership addressing the threats of invasive non-native species.
The context of the partnership demands effective communication and a spirit of collaboration in which all parties share information and work together - just the philosophy that Mike so eloquently advocated.Helen Roy
The first Mike Majerus Memorial Lecture is delivered on Wednesday 18 July 2012 as part of the Royal Entomological Society's Ento '12 meeting (18-20 July). See the full programme [PDF, 2.26mb]
View slides from Helen's presentation [PDF, 1.96mb]
Dr Helen Roy's staff page at CEH
Nearly 2000 non-native species established in Great Britain (CEH News)