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Shed Talks Series. One-hour talk followed by Q&A. Bar. Doors open 7pm.

A Physicist amongst the penguins

Apologies but we are having to postpone this event

We are currently in discussion with Prof Barham to organise a new date which will be posted shortly.
Anyone who has purchased a ticket for this event will be contacted just as soon as we can

Professor Peter Barham has enjoyed a varied career including being involved with the research and conservation work on penguins. Initially using his expertise in polymer physics to design novel marking techniques that could be used by field biologists. The research project he set up in 2000 to test new rubber flipper bands for penguins has since evolved into one of the longest running penguin monitoring and research projects on any species and the data collected feeds directly into decision making on penguin conservation.

Although the main focus of the talk will be on African penguins, he will begin with an introduction to each of the 18 (or thereabouts) species of penguin and include a few interesting facts about their individual characteristics and behaviour. Following that Professor Barham will talk in more detail about the African penguin and explain why they are now an endangered species with a high probability of becoming extinct within 25 to 50 years and the work being done to try and change the situation.

Peter Barham is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Bristol. He his gained doctorate (in polymer physics) at Bristol back in 1975 and has spent his entire career in the Physics department finally “retiring” in 2015. As well as continuing to research polymers (mainly in the area of biodegradable materials) he also managed to turn his other passion into serious research interests.

His work on the science of cooking led to a collaboration with several chefs, notably Heston Blumenthal and the development of modern scientific gastronomy. He was also able to apply some of his physics expertise to solve problems for penguin researchers and has, over the past 20 years become increasingly involved with penguin conservation and research. At one point a few years ago he actually held three chairs at three Universities: in Physics at Bristol, Molecular Gastronomy at Copenhagen and in Biology in Cape Town.

Tickets are £8 for adults and £5 for students over 14, bookable in advance or pay on the door.