Penguins on film

4 September 2013, 6.00 PM - 4 September 2013, 6.00 PM

Great Hall, Wills Memorial Building, Queen's Road

Penguins on icePenguin with chickPenguin in Arizona

A free public event in association with the 8th International Penguin Conference, which is running from 2 to 6 September 2013 at the University of Bristol.

A world leading panel of experts will discuss their experiences working with penguins; it will include Elizabeth White, Series Director of ‘The Frozen Planet’, who did much of the filming for the Frozen Planet series. There will be a screening and discussion of BBC Natural History Unit footage on 'Criminal penguins' (stone-stealing Adelie penguins whose behaviour was observed and film during 4 months spent in the colony) and 'Penguins can fly' (super slow motion filming of Emperors returning to the floe edge).

Free, all welcome, but booking is required via the online form.

If you require additional support for any of the lectures, e.g. wheelchair access or sign language interpretation, please contact Nicola Fry at the earliest opportunity and we will endeavour to meet your request.

It is hoped that 'penguin-cams' used in the BBC series 'The Spy in the Huddle' will be roaming the venue and filming the audience and books written by the panel members and other delegates at the International Penguin Conference will be on display in the Reception Room.

The panel will include:

  • Chair: Lloyd Davis (Stuart Professor of Science Communication, Director, The Centre for Science Communication, University of Otago, New Zealand)

    Lloyd is an internationally recognized scientist. Currently the inaugural Stuart Professor of Science Communication at the University of Otago, he has authored over 100 scientific publications on the behaviour and ecology of birds and mammals. He is regarded as a world authority on penguins and academic honours bestowed upon him have included a Fulbright Fellowship, an Anzac Fellowship and a Prince and Princess of Wales Science Award. However, he is also an award-winning writer, photographer and filmmaker. His book Penguin: a season in the life of the Adelie penguin, which is a story of penguins and Antarctica as seen through the eyes of a penguin, won the PEN Best First Book Award for Non-fiction in 1994. The Plight of the Penguin won the NZ Post New Zealand Children's Book of the Year Award in 2002 - the first time in the history of the awards that non-fiction had been awarded the overall prize.

  • Elizabeth White (series Director of 'The Frozen Planet')

    Elizabeth White is a Producer/Director at the BBC Natural History Unit in Bristol. She began her career as a zoologist, graduating with a PhD in animal behaviour from the University of Bristol in 2003. Shortly after, she joined a research cruise with the British Antarctic Survey in South Georgia, and had her first experience of Antarctica’s penguins! From 2007 she was one of the directors on the award-winning Frozen Planet series, spending many months in the poles, North and South, filming wildlife on and under the sea ice. One of her shoots, took her to the Antarctic Peninsula where the team filmed the fledging behaviour of Adelies. In filming the series, the Frozen Planet team filmed a variety of different penguin species and Elizabeth will talk about some of the different techniques used to capture their behaviour.

  • Sue Murray (General Manager, Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust, New Zealand)

    The Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust is a conservation organisation highly respected by the Department of Conservation and the Ministry of Conservation for its work in the preservation of the rare and endangered Yellow-eyed penguin. The Trust has protected Yellow-eyed penguin habitats along the Otago and Southland coastlines, by providing fencing to protect the nests from wandering stock, planting trees and shrubs, and purchasing other areas for penguin reserves. The Plant Nursery, first established in 1989, has propagated more than 80,000 native trees and shrubs sourced from local seed. These have been planted out in the appropriate habitat to provide more shelter and better nesting sites for the penguins. The Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust looks forward to the day when we and other penguin conservationists have made ourselves redundant.

  • Peter Fretwell (BAS, UK) - To be confirmed

    A geographer from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) he has pioneered new methods of locating penguin colonies in the Antarctic and of counting penguins remotely using satellite and aerial photographic images. In particular he has found ways to increase the resolution of the satellite imagery, to differentiate between birds, ice, shadow and penguin poo or guano.

  • Peter Barham (Professor of Physics and the Chair of the International Penguin Conference) and Tilo Burghardt (Lecturer, Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol)

    Both Peter and Tilo have developed systems that are capable of locating penguins in still and moving images and once located identify them from their individual patterns.

This event has been organised by the Public and Ceremonial Events Office.

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