2024 Lecture Evening – Wednesday 27th March ‘Show me the honey: the evolution of cooperation between people and wild birds’ Talk by Prof. Claire Spottiswoode, at the Union Jack Club in London


Cooperation between people and wild animals is rare. Yet in many parts of Africa, wax-eating birds called greater honeyguides (Indicator indicator) lead honey-hunters to the bees’ nests and both get their reward, with the humans harvesting the honey and the birds eating the wax. The fascinating part is how the interaction works. Human calls alert the birds to the fact the hunters are seeking help, and vary in different locations. It’s very clever, yet simple – and it works.

Our speaker, Prof. Claire Spottiswoode, is an evolutionary biologist from the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town, and the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge. She is passionate about her particular interest in the ecology, evolution and conservation of species interactions, so who better to inform and entertain us about this intriguing topic.

We may even include a contribution from George M’manga, who was funded by NVT to carry out research on this very subject.

Venue: The Union Jack Club, Sandell Street, London SE1 8UJ (near Waterloo station),

6.00 pm:  Doors open, Gascoigne Room. Networking, sale of merchandise and cash bar

6.45 pm:  Update from Chairman, Tom Lupton

7.00 pm:  Dr Claire Spottiswoode’s talk, followed by questions from the audience

8.00 pm:  Networking continues. Cash bar

9.30 pm:  Evening ends.

Tickets cost £16 (students £8), and are available from Peter Lawrance: e-mail: sec.nvt@gmail.com. Address: 50 Brewery Road, Woking, GU21 4NA. Payment for tickets and donations may be made direct to the Trust account at Lloyds Bank, sort code 30-90-89, account number 44504860, (IBAN GB94LOYD30908944504860); account name The Nyika-Vwaza UK Trust, or by a UK cheque payable to Nyika Vwaza Trust and posted to the Hon. Treasurer at 50 Brewery Road, Woking, GU21 4NA.