Professor M G Morris
Following three years as the V H Blackman Research Scholar at East Malling Research Station, Mike joined the Nature Conservancy’s new research lab at Monks Wood, where he went on to spend 15 years on research into conservation ecology, notably devising innovative field experiments to explore how different types of grassland management can restore and maintain distinctive species-rich assemblages of insects. A major influence that Mike created throughout his career has been to elucidate the effect of different types of land management regimes (burning, mowing or grazing at different times of years and at different intensities) on insect diversity in the British Isles.
From 1976 until his retirement in 1994, Mike was Head of Furzebrook Research Station and ultimately Acting Director of ITE, as well as ITE’s Head of Invertebrate Ecology. Despite these more managerial roles, he continued to publish a number of important papers in high-ranking journals describing his continuing experiments to maximise insect biodiversity in UK grasslands. In total he has published 315 scientific papers, book chapters and articles on insects, of which 85 are directly concerned with their conservation.
Since retirement, Mike has continued his pursuing of ‘extra-mural’ conservation initiatives focused on insects, and was also appointed (honorary) Scientific Associate at the Natural History Museum, which combined research and the curation of Coleoptera collections. His conservation work throughout his career included a number of policy recommendations, and in his managerial positions, he vigorously promoted the conservation-orientated research programmes of his staff, several of which involved insects.