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Digital Gardens Talk – Wildlife in the Archive

Wildlife collage

All alumni and friends are warmly invited to the Digital Gardens Talk at 2pm on Saturday 26 September 2020. Our speaker this year will be Girton Alumnus Stewart Rosell, 2017 Natural Sciences.

What do archives teach us about the past natural history? What is the future use of today’s citizen science? In his talk, Stewart will draw upon what he has learnt while studying at Girton College to answer these questions. We will use historic wildlife records, some of which are from Girton students and held in the college archives, as a window into both the past and the future. These show recent changes in our local fauna, and also how we can use modern natural history records to communicate our observations to future generations. For Stewart this is the most exciting aspect of recording natural history. While the observations we make today are likely be used to study ecology in the future, we don’t know who will use them or how our wildlife will have changed!

In his time in Cambridge, Stewart has learnt new ways of applying his interest in natural history. Before starting university, he focussed on individual projects in which the main output was the data. Through the university community, he has been able to expand on this to use the surveys for community projects and teaching. This has proved invaluable for maintaining the long-term sustainability of these surveys and maximising their social impact. In addition, using historic records from the college archives, he gained insights into the recent history of wildlife in the local area, and the possible future of the surveys he has started.

To register your interest in this event, please use the link on the right hand side of this page or email

Pictures of college Gardens