Lancaster University

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Professor Terry Mansfield retires

10/31/2001 14:24:40

The Mansfield Graduate Student Travel Bursary was launched on 30 October 2001 to mark the retirement of Professor Terry Mansfield who has been at Lancaster University since 1964. Speaking in recognition of Terry's service to the Biology Department, University and Science, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Ritchie, spoke of Terry as a father figure to the University whose safe and strategic guidance has been an asset not only in his role as provost of science and engineering, but more recently, in the successful initiation of the Lancaster Environment Centre.

In addition to his excellent science career which was acknowledged with his election as a fellow of the Royal Society in 1987, the VC went on to speak of Terry's love of cricket and the contribution he and his wife, Margaret, have made to the local community in Forton. He recalled a letter he had once received from Terry relating to the poor state of the cricket pitch at the University. However, being an eminent ecologist with a rather wry sense of humour, Terry had gone on to point out the exact rogue plant species which were contributing to this poor state of ground! Summing up, Professor Ritchie focussed on Terry's website which sets out his research interests and which, with words such as 'current research' and 'recent discovery' leads us to conclude that retirement is maybe best left in inverted commas for the time being.

Central to the retirement occasion, an open lecture was given by the distinguished scientist, Professor John Lawton, Chief Executive of NERC. Speaking on the subject of 'Understanding and Prediction in Ecology', Professor Lawton captivated the audience with his theory that macroecology and whole system manipulation is the way forward in predicting how ecosytems will be affected by environmental changes such as global warming. Illustrating why small nature reserves cannot sustain large numbers of species due to their isolation, he went on to warn that the inability of nature reserve species to migrate with a migrating climate will mean they will be in the wrong place in the future! His take home message was 'Expect the unexpected'.

Guests and members of the department concluded the occasion by accompanying Terry and his wife to a dinner in the Lancaster House Hotel.