Aubrey Manning

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Aubrey Manning
Aubrey William George Manning

(1930-04-24)24 April 1930
Died20 October 2018(2018-10-20) (aged 88)

Aubrey William George Manning, OBE, FRSE, FRSB, (24 April 1930 – 20 October 2018)[1] was an English zoologist and broadcaster.


Manning, the son of William, who worked for the Home and Colonial Stores, and Hilda, was born in Chiswick, but moved with his family to Englefield Green in Surrey when the Second World War broke out, to escape the Blitz.[2][3]

He was educated at Strode's Grammar School in Egham, at University College London, where he read zoology, and then at Merton College, Oxford,[4] where he completed his DPhil under Niko Tinbergen.

After National Service in the Royal Artillery, he joined the University of Edinburgh as an assistant lecturer in 1956.[3] His main research and teaching interests were on animal behaviour, development, and evolution. He was involved with environmental issues since 1966, and with the Centre for Human Ecology since its inception at the University of Edinburgh in 1970.[5] He was Professor of Natural History at the university from 1973 to 1997.[3] In December 1997, a gallery in the Natural History Collection of Edinburgh University was named in his honour on his retirement. He later became Emeritus Professor.[6]

Manning died on 20 October 2018.[1][7]

Honours and public offices[edit]

Manning was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1973), and received an OBE in 1998. He also held honorary doctorates from Université Paul Sabatier in Toulouse, the University of St Andrews, and the Open University. He received the Zoological Society of London Silver Medal in 2003, for public understanding of science.[3]

Among his many posts, he was Chairman of Edinburgh Brook Advisory Centre, Chairman of the Council of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, and a trustee of the National Museums of Scotland and of Project Wallacea. He was President of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts from 2005 to 2010, and was Patron of Population Matters (formerly known as the Optimum Population Trust).[3][6][8]

Writing and broadcasting[edit]

He wrote An Introduction to Animal Behaviour (1967) published by Cambridge University Press, which is now in its sixth edition (last three editions co-authored with Professor Marian Stamp Dawkins. His television broadcasts included: BBC Two's Earth Story, Landscape Mysteries and Talking Landscapes. His radio broadcasts included The Rules of Life for BBC Radio 4 and the Open University in 2006.[9] He also broadcast five series of Radio 4's Unearthing Mysteries, Sounds of Life and Origins: the Human Connection.[6]


In 1959, he married zoologist Margaret Bastock (d. 1982) with whom he had two sons. In 1985, he married Joan Herrmann, a child psychotherapist, with whom he had another son.[3][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Professor Aubrey Manning, zoologist and population campaigner who enthralled students as well as television audiences – obituary" The Daily Telegraph 26 October 2018. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  2. ^ "OU on the BBC: Rules of Life – Meet Aubrey". Open University. 24 October 2005. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Sington, David (11 November 2018). "Aubrey Manning obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  4. ^ Levens, R.G.C., ed. (1964). Merton College Register 1900-1964. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. p. 426.
  5. ^ "International Lectures on Nature and Human Ecology". Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d "Obituary". The Times: 49. 29 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Obituaries". University of Oxford Gazette. 149 (5227): 220. 17 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Population Matters Patron". Archived from the original on 25 June 2014.
  9. ^ "The Rules of Life". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 21 December 2012.

External links[edit]

Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
David Bellamy
President of the Wildlife Trusts
Succeeded by
Simon King