News | Wednesday, 9th July 2008

Doctorate for Chester Zoo chief

Science Graduation Honour

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MMU has honoured Gordon McGregor Reid, the distinguished zoologist and Director General of Chester Zoo.

Gordon McGregor Reid is made an Honorary Doctor in Science for his contribution to knowledge of the natural world from the University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering.

He received his award alongside 1,500 graduates at the 2008 Graduation Ceremony for the Faculty at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester on Tuesday, July 8.

Gordon McGregor Reid is the Director General and Chief Executive of The North of England Zoological Society, popularly known as Chester Zoo.

Africa research

From humble begins as a 16-year-old technician in the zoology department at Glasgow University, Gordon rose to conduct leading research into marine life in Botswana and Nigeria. He completed his PhD at the University of London with a thesis on the morphology of tropical fish.

In recent years, he has taken Chester Zoo from strength to strength to its current position as the sixth largest visitor attraction in the UK, with 6,000 animals of 600 species, half of them on the World Conservation Union’s endangered list.

The conservation work of the zoo spans more than 50 countries, including Kenya, where it works with MMU’s Behaviour and Ecology Group on the Chyulu Project for Rhino Conservation.

MMU is soon to embark on a new Masters programme in Zoo Conservation Biology, jointly run with Chester Zoo.

Fund for Nature

Gordon McGregor Reid, who has also served as the government’s Inspector of Zoos is a respected researcher. He has authored more than 100 scientific publications and is a consultant for Conservation International, Flora and Fauna International, British Executive Services Overseas and the World Wide Fund for Nature, and has been a Visiting Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution.

In 2005, he became President-Elect of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and is a trustee of the National Museums, Merseyside.

Two African species of fish new to science have been named in Gordon’s honour.

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