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Wildlife presenter and filmmaker Gordon Buchanan awarded DSc by Queen Mary

Gordon Buchanan, the prominent and respected filmmaker and presenter has been awarded the Doctor of Science (DSc) from Queen Mary University of London.

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The honorary degree was conferred in recognition of Gordon’s commitment to conservation and the protection of biodiversity and was presented at a special Queen Mary event, A Night of Science and Engineering. At the same event, Dr Ibilola Amao received the Fellowship of Queen Mary.

Over the last 30 years, Gordon’s incredible filmmaking has captured the reality of threatened biodiversity in the UK and elsewhere in the world, making him a leading figure in conservation biology.

Gordon’s animal documentaries include the highly successful December 2022 BBC Two programme “Snow Dogs: Into the Wild” which saw Gordon realise a childhood dream to drive a team of dogs in the Yukon wilderness, following a trail used over a 100 years ago by the Scottish Klondike gold-rush explorers.

Gordon is also known for the BBC Two series “The Snow Wolf Family & Me”, which showed a wolf pack raising their cubs over a year – pioneering long-term observation in animal documentaries. His BBC films of big cats and “Big Cat Diary” have paved the way to recording large cats in their natural environment, offering viewers unique insights into the cats’ habitat.

Colin Bailey, Principal and President of Queen Mary says: “Gordon has engaged with scientists to help them highlight the beauty and fragility of the UK’s and global ecosystems. As a filmmaker, his programmes truly connect with audiences all over the world. Importantly, his passion for conservation and the protection of biodiversity shines out in all he does. It’s this commitment that makes him a very worthy recipient of the honorary DSc from Queen Mary.”

Gordon Buchanan says: “I am thrilled to receive this honorary DSc, and thank the University. My wildlife programmes capture the natural world’s wonders and perils, and in revealing hidden animal worlds to audiences, I hope to create a better understanding about why conservation and biodiversity need to be protected.”

In 2019, Gordon travelled the equator to present the series “Equator from the Air”, and also filmed and presented “Snow Cats and Me” where he helped rehabilitate lynx so they could return to the wild.

In 2020, he filmed cheetahs in the wilds of Africa for “Cheetahs and Me”. In 2021, he fronted a second series of “Animals with Cameras”, highlighting some of the conservation work conducted at Queen Mary University.

In 2013, Gordon won the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland award in the environment category, and became a patron of Trees for Life, a conservation charity working to restore the Caledonian Forest in the Scottish Highlands. He became an ambassador for the Scottish Wildlife Trust the following year, again demonstrating his commitment to the protection of biodiversity.

Gordon was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2020 New Year Honours for services to conservation and wildlife film-making.

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