08 May 2009

Hugh Spencer



Maitland Boy's High School 1958-1959

One of the 'Hostile Boys' (aka "Hinder House" Boy's Hostel)

Gained Teacher's College Scholarship - and went to University of New England (Armidale) to do BSc in Botany/Zoology- got involved in student politics (silly naive bugger) - left with tail between legs to complete degree at ANU.

1965 Joined Monash University Zoology Dept as STO Electronics (didn't like tracking echidnas in miserable mallee scrub for PHD). Took second degree in Physiology/ Pharmacology at Monash. Tried skiing (Perisher) - very bad at it, rock climbing (good at it).
Married Barbara.

1970 Offered scholarship to University of Manitoba in Winnipeg Canada - brrrrr... (-40C)
did MSC and PHD (Neurobiology) at U Manitoba. Got involved with conservation and ZPG, canoeing and a spot of mountaineering and skiing..especially x-country at -10F. Parted from Barbara (who stayed to become a professor).

1974 Post Doc - Uni of California, Irvine (south LA) - Dept of Psychobiology - sticking electrodes in innocent rat's brains - especially their hippocampuses. More skiing - very good at it now - plus some winter mountaineering. Got involved with alternate energy groups - especially solar. Musical Instrument making. Learned Blues harp. Met Brigitta.

1978 Moved to Australia - Lecturer in Neurophysiology at Uni Wollongong (which morphed into Botany and Physiology as well)- got involved in restoring carousel organs and more musical instrument making, conservation, flying-fox research, setting up2VOX-FM - got fed up and...

1988 Moved to Cape Tribulation in the wet-tropics of far-north Queensland to establish a field research station - after many trials and tribulations - it is now a quite significant operation (with its own flying fox colony). Lost Brigitta (who wants to live here?!) - got trigeminal neuralgia-overcame it, planted a rainforest with the help of innumerable volunteers...and have become one of Al Gore's climate fighters.

Although I have no children - I seem to serve as 'temporary uncle and mentor' of numerous 18-30 year olds from all over the world...

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