Issue 10 - 7 November 2011 enews home

Expert shares Darwin's story with Darwin


By Leanne Coleman

Professor Tim Berra

Professor Berra is interested in all things evolutionary
A world-renowned Darwinian specialist was in the Territory to deliver a seminar on the life of pioneering naturalist and evolutionary scientist Charles Darwin.

Hosted by Charles Darwin University's Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods (RIEL), the lecture was by Professor Emeritus of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology at The Ohio State University Tim Berra.

Professor Berra is the author of "Charles Darwin: The Concise Story of an Extraordinary Man", which covers the life of Darwin from birth to death, his family, friends, books, and significance to Western thought.

Through a collection of anecdotes, Professor Berra spoke about the human side of Darwin by dealing with his family relationships and interactions with his closest advisors.

He also spoke about the history of Darwin's studies in medicine, his subsequent studies in theology and natural history at Cambridge University, his voyage as the captain's companion on The Beagle, aged 22, and the release of "On the Origin of Species".

While in the Territory Professor Berra is pursuing his other passion, battling the Territory's iconic crocodiles in the Adelaide River to research the Nursery fish. His research spans 10 years and is the first conducted on the fish since 1913.

Professor Tim M. Berra is a University Professorial Fellow, Charles Darwin University and Research Associate, Northern Territory Museum, Darwin. He is a three-time winner of Fulbright Fellowships to Australia in 1969, 1979, 2009 and author of more than 75 scientific papers and six books.