Metamorphosis: from scrubby child to butterfly ecologist (or, Hissing Sid and the missing data point)

Inaugural Lecture

Professor John Dover BSc, PhD, FRES, FSB

John Dover is principally a butterfly ecologist. He has carried out research in a number of countries including Australia, Spain, Sweden, Norway and the UK. Most of his research has been in the agricultural environment such as in the cereal fields of Hampshire, the green lanes of Cheshire, or the hay meadows of the Picos de Europa mountains of northern Spain. Nevertheless, some of his work has been more urban in character: studying butterflies and moths on Southampton Common or working in a fragment of native Australian vegetation completely surrounded by bungalows in the Koondoola suburb of Perth. Nearer to home he has worked on green infrastructure for RENEW in Stoke-on-Trent and has become particularly interested in the ecology of green walls. In this inaugural lecture John reflects not only on his past research, but on how he has ended up as a Professor: something his schoolboy self could never have anticipated. As for Hissing Sid and the missing data point: let’s just say that he doesn’t like snakes.