Inspired by birds: An academic life
A lecture (with birds), by Professor Tim Birkhead
Introduction by Professor Wyn Morgan, Vice President for Education
Monday 18 June, 6pm-8pm (doors open 5.45pm)
This event marks Professor Tim Birkhead's recent award of a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship. With reference to both his teaching and research, Tim will speak about the challenges and opportunities facing academics and universities today. His talk will be complemented by a - literal - flock of starlings, trained by the renowned bird behaviourist Lloyd Buck.
The quality and quantity of university teaching is a hot topic at present. But no one seems to know how to measure the quality of teaching. How much teaching do undergraduates need? How should academics juggle teaching, research and an increasing administrative burden? What does it take to inspire undergraduates? What makes an effective teacher? How should universities reward academics that are both successful researchers and effective teachers? Should universities penalize poor teachers? Should academics receive better training as teachers? These are some the questions Tim Birkhead will address in this talk, drawing on his extensive experience as a world leading researcher and teacher.
Tim Birkhead is Professor of Behaviour and Evolution in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield, where he has combined his enthusiasm for research with a passion for teaching. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society since 2004, and his book, The Most Perfect Thing (Bloomsbury 2016) was the basis for David Attenborough's Natural World Series 'Attenborough's Wonder of Eggs'. His research has also been showcased in the popular TED talks series, where he presented a lecture on the history of ornithology. In 2017, Tim was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship, the most prestigious award for teaching in UK Higher Education, in recognition of his outstanding pedagogical practice over many years.
To complement Tim's research, this talk will feature a flock of Starlings, provided by Lloyd Buck, and a Q & A with Tim Birkhead and Lloyd Buck.