1829 Talks: from strength to strength

In late 2018, we launched our 1829 Talks: a new series of short, environmental lectures delivered by students studying at local universities. Now, one year later, we are delighted to see them going from strength to strength.

Having listened to the views of our members and supporters who wished to see NHSN go further in our support of younger naturalists, providing early-career researchers with an opportunity to share their work with the local natural history community seemed like an obvious step in the right direction. Intended as an opportunity to gain experience in public speaking whilst sharing student research projects with interested naturalists, our 1829 Talks provide a rare opportunity for students to share their work as part of our popular Friday lecture programme.

One year on since the launch of the initiative, we are delighted to have brought to light the work of passionate researchers at three local institutions: Durham, Newcastle and Northumbria University. Through these talks, we have featured topics from across the globe: covering subjects as diverse as Amphiopods from the West Austrailia basin to the use of beehives as elephant deterrents in Kenya. Elsewhere, other speakers have covered subjects closer to home, from lichens at Corbridge to the dawn chorus in Northumbrian woodlands. Whilst the subjects may differ substantially, one thing that remains the same is the dedication of those presenting and we are incredibly proud of all our speakers to date.

We are also thrilled to have received positive feedback from the speakers themselves:

“As a master’s student I was really excited to present one of the 1829 talks as they are usually delivered by PhD students.  I felt privileged to represent one of the range of master’s projects supported by Newcastle University and to discuss the real-world relevance of my work.  I relished the opportunity to discuss the findings of my dissertation project with others who are passionate about the natural world and being able to deliver my presentation to a room full of supportive and interested people gave me a real confidence boost.  There may never have been a more important time to share knowledge about our precious environment, and having this platform allows the work of students like myself to be recog

I really enjoyed talking about my research with people who are truly passionate about the natural world, as part of the NHSN 1829 Talks. After briefly discussing my research into the drivers of wildlife tourism, I had interesting conservations with members of the audience about their own experiences and understanding of the topic. As an added bonus, I was also able to attend a fascinating talk on garden pests and took home some useful information on the kinds of critters I might find in my own vegetable garden.
– Maire Kirkland, Durham Universitynised and to hopefully spark important conversations.” – Alexandra Reynolds, Newcastle University

Our 1829 Talks run from 18.29-18.45, directly ahead of our main Friday talks. We welcome MSc students and Postgraduates from all local institutions to take part and share their research with like-minded local naturalists. We are happy to feature presentations on a wide range of subjects, from birds and botany to marine science to mammal ecology. If you are interested in taking part, please email james.common@newcastle.ac.uk – we still have a few spaces left in our post-Christmas programme.