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Undergraduate teaching 2009

img_5904Over the past month I have had a particularly busy teaching period, which has been great because its something I really enjoy. Apart from contributing to sessions for some of the many schoolchildren who visit the Museum, I have also taught about 180 undergraduate students. The last lesson I ran was on Friday, and I would just like to say a big thanks to all the colleagues and demonstrators  who helped me deliver the session.  Here are some photos taken during the 2009 session

ADDITION: Below are links to photographs taken during other similar undergraduate teaching sessions delivered since:

Zoology student practicals (photos from 2010)

Biology student practicals (photos from 2010)

Photos from 2011


Slow worms

Slow worm (sub-species) filmed in Corfu (May, 2011)

Lake District Visit (posted 16/4/2009)

Over the Easter Bank Holiday I went mountain biking in the Lake District. The weather was superb and it was just sooo good to be in one of my favourite places. I spent quite some time around Grizedale Forest and Dale Park in particular, and also got the opportunity to call in to a place which has always been very special to me – a small farm cottage where I used to visit with my Grandma and  family when I was a boy. The place brings back so many fond memories. I used to love going there every summer and could hardly wait to get out of the little green Morris Minor  to start searching for lizards, snakes, toads and frogs 🙂 Well, this time I wasn’t searching for any herps (although I was very tempted to start looking!), but last time I visited the farm I was with  BBC Countryfile  in search of Slow Worms:


An alternative rare golden frog!

img_58651Whilst working in the Vivarium last week, I got a call from our reception to say that a rare live golden frog that had been brought into the museum! I obviously said I would be straight down and was very pleased the museum lift was working at last! When I got there, sure enough, there was a beautiful live golden frog waiting for me :-). However, it was not the endangered tropical form I had fleetingly imagined, but one from much closer to home. It was in fact an albino common frog, that a lady from nearby Stretford had kindly brought in to show me. I must admit that I was very pleased she had, for although I knew that these albinos occaisionally turn up I had never ever seen one in the flesh. img_5863Most albino frogs are easily spotted by predators and usually dont’ last long. However, this was a large adult female and was a stunning bright orange colour. It was clearly thriving and very healthy so must have been clever at evading predators for all its life. Here is a photo of the animal and also above is one of the lady, Mrs Pollit, who very kindly decided to bring in the animal from her pond to show me.

Children meet a red-eyed tree frog at the Manchester Museum

Here is a short video clip of a group of young children from Gorton South learning about a red-eyed leaf frog, which I hope you’ll enjoy watching. It was such good fun to do! 🙂