Below are some of the highlights of the conference. In total, there are almost thirty presentations given by specialist from all over the globe. You can get a copy of the program here (pdf), and a full overview of the speakers and the abstracts here (pdf).
Kay Etheridge is Professor of Biology at Gettysburg College and a founding member of the Maria Sibylla Merian Society. Earlier publications in physiology and ecology include studies on tropical bats, manatees, lizards, and salamanders. Her current scholarship centers on the integration of natural history images and the history of biology with a focus on Maria Sibylla Merian. Her upcoming book on Merian will be published by Brill, and she is an editor of the Brill book series Emergence of Natural History.
Erik A. de Jong holds the Artis-chair for Culture, Landscape and Nature, Faculty of the Humanities at the University of Amsterdam since 2009. He is also main advisor to the master plan of the Dutch Royal Zoological Society Natura Artis Magistra. He was professor of Landscape Studies at the Bard Graduate Center in New York, Senior Harvard Fellow Landscape Studies Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University and also taught history and theory at landscape Architecture Wageningen University. His teaching, research and publications concern the relationship between man and nature, issues in natural history, the history and meaning of garden- and landscape, and heritage issues in the field of natural history and landscape. He conducts several design- and art projects with representatives of other disciplines on nature, technology and art and cooperates regularly as an advisor and researcher in projects on landscape heritage.
George McGavin was born in Glasgow and educated at Daniel Stewart’s College in Edinburgh. He studied Zoology at Edinburgh University, followed by a PhD in entomology at Imperial College and the Natural History Museum in London. After 25 years as an academic at Oxford University he became a television presenter. George is an Honorary Research Associate of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History as well as a Fellow of the Linnean Society and the Royal Geographical Society and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology. His program credits include Expedition Borneo, Lost Land of the Jaguar, Lost Land of the Volcano, Lost Land of the Tiger, The Dark: nature’s night-time world, Prehistoric Autopsy, Miniature Britain, Planet Ant, Ultimate Swarms, Dissected: the incredible human hand and foot, Monkey Planet, The Secret Life of your House (ITV) and the multi-award winning documentary After Life: the strange science of decay. His most recent program The Oak: nature’s greatest survivor was shown on BBC4 in October 2015 and won a Royal Television Society Award and a Grierson Award. George is a regular presenter on BBC’s The One Show and has written numerous books on insects and other animals.
Redmond O'Hanlon was born in 1947 in Dorset, England. He was educated at Marlborough College and then Oxford University. After taking his M.Phil. in nineteenth-century English studies in 1971 he was elected senior scholar, and in 1974 Alistair Horne Research Fellow, at St. Anthony's College, Oxford. He completed his doctoral thesis, Changing scientific concepts of nature in the English novel, 1850–1920, in 1977. From 1970–74, O'Hanlon was a member of the literature panel of the Arts Council of Great Britain. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1984 and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1993. For fifteen years he was the natural history editor of the Times Literary Supplement. O'Hanlon has become known for his journeys into some of the most remote jungles of the world, in Borneo, the Amazon basin and Congo. He has also written a harrowing account of a trip to the North Atlantic on a trawler. Between September 2009 and May 2010, Redmond O'Hanlon was a guest and co-presenter in the programme Beagle: In Darwin's wake for both Canvas in Belgium and VPRO Television in the Netherlands. In the programme, the clipper Stad Amsterdam re-traced the route that Charles Darwin took aboard HMS Beagle (1831–36), a journey that played a seminal role in his thinking on evolution. In November 2011 VPRO Television began broadcasting O'Hanlons helden (English: O'Hanlon's heroes). In this eight-part series O'Hanlon introduces the viewer to his heroes of the nineteenth century. The programme was awarded with the prestigious Dutch television award, De Zilveren Nipkowschijf. A second eight-part series of O'Hanlons helden was broadcasted in the winter of 2013–2014
Katharina Schmidt-Loske is the Head of a research center of historical biology - Biohistoricum - at the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig, Leibniz-Institute for Animal Biodiversity, Bonn. She studied biology in Münster, Bonn and Frankfurt/Main and earned her doctorate from the University of Bonn with a dissertation project entitled Die Tierwelt der Maria Sibylla Merian (The Fauna of Maria Sibylla Merian. Species, descriptions, illustrations). In her recent scientific work she analysed floral and animal depictions in the Tenture des Indes. At the crossroads between science and art, the Tenture des Indes is among the most famous tapestry series of the Baroque period. She is also a founding member of the Maria Sibylla Merian Society.
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