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Department of Zoology

Duke of Burgundy Butterfly

Conserving an endangered butterfly into the future

18 June 2021

Conserving an endangered butterfly into the future: long term requirements of the Duke of Burgundy Matt Hayes is a research assistant in our Museum of Zoology, looking at historical museum specimens, investigating how losses from the past can help guide conservation of the future. Over the past few years, he has worked...

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Roger Northfield and colleague checking a moth trap

Roger Northfield

19 May 2021

The Department is sorry to announce that our former colleague Roger Northfield died on 17th May. Roger started work in the Zoology Department in 1956, and with one short break to work in the States, stayed here continuously until his retirement 51 years later. Everything Roger did was shot-through with his enormous passion...

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Professor Rebecca Kilner, Director - Museum of Zoology

Congratulations to Professor Rebecca Kilner, FRS

4 May 2021

We are absolutely delighted to congratulate Professor Rebecca Kilner on being elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society. Becky is one of the leading lights working on the evolution of animal behaviour, and how behaviour then affects the pace and scope of subsequent evolutionary change. Using experimental evolution, her...

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girl standing in front of a red brick wall which has grafitti on saying "for women"

StepWide - promoting the next generation of female researchers

19 April 2021

A new website created by 3 female postdocs shines a light on early career talent at the University of Cambridge and affiliated institutes. The StepWide website launched last month aims to support female, including trans women, postdoctoral researchers, from any discipline, to showcase their expertise and grow their online...

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Lead shot pellets taken from a dissected pheasant

Lead shot still prevalent in pheasant shooting

26 February 2021

During the 2020-2021 pheasant shooting season 99.4% of 180 pheasants from which shotgun pellets were recovered had been killed using toxic lead shotgun ammunition . This is despite a call by nine UK shooting and rural organisations who joined together a year ago to issue a statement saying that they wanted to see a...

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Group of Academics in 1984, members of the Godwin Lab

James Croll Medal awarded to Richard Preece

15 January 2021

The Department is delighted to hear that the Quaternary Research Association (QRA) has awarded Dr Richard Preece the James Croll Medal, their highest honour. The Medal is normally awarded to a member of the Association who has not only made an outstanding contribution to the field of Quaternary science, but whose work has...

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Why do hairs and cilia grow out in one particular direction?

16 December 2020

Why do hairs and cilia grow out in one particular direction?​ The Lawrence Group , has been trying to answer this question and has recently published a paper in Open Biology which explores and tests different models and hypotheses. Peter Lawrence explains that cells in developing animals detect their orientation and use...

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Tropical rainforest destruction

Oil palm replanting may decrease arthropod biodiversity

28 September 2020

Oil palm replanting may decrease arthropod biodiversity New study suggests biodiversity impact in multiple microhabitats Oil palm is the most traded vegetable oil in the world, featuring in products ranging from instant noodles to lipstick . It has long been the source of huge controversy as plantations – most of them in...

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Professor Simon Maddrell, FRS

10 September 2020

simon_copy.jpg Professor Simon Maddrell, FRS 1937 - 2020 William Foster, a colleague of Simon's in the Zoology Department, writes... Simon was a man who liked a challenge – whether this came from a sporting rival, a baffled undergraduate, The Times crossword, or the chaotic financial state of the Company of Biologists. His...

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We don’t know what works in conservation for many threatened species and habitats

7 September 2020

Go to your doctor and they’ll give you the best treatment based on the scientific evidence. So why can’t we do the same for biodiversity? Using evidence can help us learn from others past failures and successes and help find the best ways to conserve and protect species threatened with extinction. To enable this, the...

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