Peter Bacon
- Wetland Ecologist

 

Professor Peter Bacon was a well-known wetland specialist. A certified Professional Wetland Scientist, his knowledge of coastal and wetland ecology was highly valued both locally and internationally. He was also a dedicated educator for over 30 years at The University of the West Indies (UWI), where he trained many young scientists.

Peter Robin Bacon was born on 17th April, 1938 in Reading, England. He attended the Essex Grammar School and after completing secondary school he obtained his first job at the Museum of Natural History in London. While working at the museum he became interested in zoology. He later completed a science degree and a certificate in education at the University of London. He migrated to Trinidad and Tobago where he taught while studying for his doctorate at UWI. Bacon produced the first study of the ecology of the Caroni Swamp and was the first PhD graduate in zoology from the St. Augustine campus in 1969.

He began lecturing in zoology at UWI, Mona and then at St. Augustine. He served as Professor and Head of the Department of Life Sciences. He helped to improve student facilities and was one of the creators of the first Master of Science programme in Environmental Sciences at the Faculty of Natural Sciences, UWI, St. Augustine.

Professor Bacon started research at the St. Augustine campus on the ecology of coastal wetlands and invertebrates, developmental impact assessment in tropical islands, as well as the management and protection of Caribbean wetland environments. He supervised research on the  Caroni and Nariva Swamps in Trinidad and important wetland areas in Tobago. He also studied the biology and conservation of leatherback turtles in the 1970s and 1980s.

Outside the University, he worked with many local and international boards and committees that promoted conservation and preservation. Such groups included the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the Wildlife Conservation Committee and the Wetland Research Bureau. He was also a member of a United Nations team that researched the effect of climate change on mangroves. In 1994 Professor Bacon started the Wetland Research Group which conducts research on the ecology and management issues of wetlands in Trinidad and Tobago

During his life, he wrote several scientific papers, manuals and books including The Natural Resources of Trinidad and Tobago and Flora and Fauna of the Caribbean.

Professor Peter Bacon died on 24th February, 2003.

 

 

 

 

KEYWORDS:

ECOLOGY: the scientific study of the location, number and relationships between living organisms in an environment.

ECOSYSTEM: a natural unit consisting of all the living and non-living things in an environment.

WETLAND: an area located between a land and aquatic environment.

ZOOLOGY: the study of animal life.



BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION:

Place of Birth: Reading, England

Date of Birth: 17th April, 1938

Date of Death: 24th February, 2003

Education: Essex Grammar School

Secondary School attended

Bachelor of Science (BSc), University of London (1961)

Postgraduate Certificate in Education, University of London (1962)

Doctorate (PhD) in Zoology, University of the West Indies (1969)

Awards: Honoured by IOCARIBE (a United Nations group that monitors Caribbean waters) for establishing the Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium in Costa Rica (1983)



INTERESTING FACTS:

Professor Bacon, with the help of his wife Tyra, wrote nature conservation stories for children entitled “The Devil Birds” published in 1980.


 

NIHERST         43-45 Woodford Street, Newtown, Trinidad W.I.         Tel: 1 (868) 622-7880        E-mail: icons@niherst.gov.tt