Biological Sciences

Renowned scientist Professor Aubrey Manning dies

Professor Aubrey Manning, a leading authority on animal behaviour, has died aged 88.

Professor Aubrey Manning

An enthusiastic teacher and communicator, Professor Manning – who joined the University in 1956 – inspired countless undergraduates with his enthusiasm and passion for his subject.

Alongside his academic work, Professor Manning presented BBC television and radio programmes about natural history and co-authored popular textbooks on animal behaviour.

Scientific career

Professor Manning began his scientific education with a degree in Zoology at University College London, before completing a doctorate in animal behaviour at the University of Oxford.

In 1956, following two years of National Service, he was offered a position as an Assistant Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, and was appointed as Professor of Natural History in 1971, a position he retained until his retirement in 1997.

Until recently he continued to play an active role in the School of Biological Sciences as Emeritus Professor of Natural History.

Wider recognition

Professor Manning’s contribution to the public understanding of science was recognised in 2003 when he was awarded the Zoological Society of London’s prestigious Silver Medal.

He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, an Honorary Fellow of the Geological Societies of Edinburgh and London, held honorary degrees from the Open University and the Universities of Toulouse, St. Andrews and Worcester. He was awarded an OBE in 1998.

The Professor had held positions as the Chair of the Scottish Wildlife Trust and a Trustee of the National Museums of Scotland, Project Wallacea and Dynamic Earth, where he was Chairman of the Scientific Board.

He also served as President of the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark and was President of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts.

Professor Manning won the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s inaugural senior Beltane Prize for Public Engagement with Science.

He is survived by his wife, three sons and five grandchildren.