Ben is Professor of Evolutionary Biology and Science Engagement at the University of East Anglia. He is also a TV and radio presenter, and author of several books, covering a range of subjects from evolution and anatomy to animal behaviour and natural history.
In addition to his academic role at UEA, Ben has presented a range of television and radio programmes, starting with his award-winning BBC4 series Secrets of the Bones in 2014. Since then, he has presented Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur with Sir David Attenborough; The Day the Dinosaurs Died; Hyper-evolution: The Rise of Robots; plus, Bone Stories; and The Human Hive on BBC Radio 4, as well as several items for The One Show.
Ben grew up on coastal Norfolk and still likes nothing better than to get out on the beaches there to see which species (both dead and alive) he can find. He now lives in Bristol where despite not being allowed pets in his flat, he lives with Lola, an articulated howler monkey skeleton.
“I grew up by the sea and could hear the waves from my bedroom window. Like anyone who has been fortunate enough to spend any time near the coast, I have a deep and complicated love for the sea. It’s this mysterious realm, fuelling our imaginations and refreshing our minds. I feel as though I know the sea so well but at the same time have no idea about the secrets it may hold. Every day it’s the same but different, where even one little stretch of coast can change across the seasons, across the days and even across the hours. I’ve worked and played in marine habitats around the world but love our coastline the most - from iconic basking sharks and immense fin whales to dazzling sea mice and charismatic little masked crabs, there is always something to see and discover. Our seas are some of our most ferocious and inhospitable habitats but are teaming with life and more fragile than you can imagine. For giving us so much, we should do all we can to ensure they continue to flourish.”
Throughout the last decade Ben has lived and worked all over the world, mainly within great ape conservation; spending several years in central Africa, managing a renowned chimpanzee conservation field site and habituating wild chimps. He has also worked extensively across South East Asia, China, the Caribbean and the Arctic for a range of organisations, in differing habitats and with numerous species.
Ben is an accomplished public speaker and has spoken at many conferences, science festivals, including the Cheltenham Science Festival, and taken part in wide range of public debates.
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