2017 Lecturers bio’s

2017 BTS Lectures and Dinner. 

Special VIP Guest Lecturer: Dave Clarke ZSL 

Through working at ZSL London Zoo, Dave has participated in captive management, exhibition and conservation programmes for a variety of species for over 30 years. Although having experience with all taxa, he has specialised in invertebrates and was instrumental in creation of the BUGS biodiversity display and Butterfly Paradise exhibits. An active member of the BIAZA Terrestrial Invertebrate Working Group and European Terrestrial Invertebrate Taxon Advisory Group, Dave continually seeks to champion and promote the importance of the non-vertebrate majority in zoos.

Getting ‘In with the Spiders’ – talk synopsis

ZSL London Zoo has become well known for its exciting and challenging invertebrate exhibits, however the BUGS display (a Millennium project opened as ‘Web of Life’ in 1999) has recently been showing its age. There are plans to improve the building in stages, with ‘pod’ areas telling different stories about invertebrates. Immersive walkthrough exhibits have been increasingly popular in zoos, and we set ourselves the challenge to create an area focusing on arachnids with an open orb spider display at its centre. This would use cutting edge live animal exhibits to showcase what arachnids are, why they are amazing but misunderstood, while underlining their importance and need for protection. We present how it was achieved and the challenges faced, culminating in a unique and award winning exhibition.

Also Lectures by:

Dr. Benjamin Kennedy BSc. MSc. BVetMed MRCVSReference Intervals for Plasma Biochemistry of Haemolymph in Chilean Rose Tarantulas

Summary: Serum biochemistry is a commonly used tool in veterinary practice to assess different body systems for common and exotic species. The speaker has recently completed a study to produce reference intervals for the Grammostola rosea for use in veterinary practice and future research. This talk will summarise the findings for this study, discuss its use in clinical practice and explore recent developments in tarantula veterinary care.

Bio: Benjamin is a qualified veterinary surgeon who graduated last year from the Royal Veterinary College and is currently in small animal practice in Kettering. During the course he was drawn towards the exploration of veterinary care for new exotic species that had been under appreciated in the past, leading to an interest and passion with invertebrate medicine.

He is a member of the British Veterinary Zoological Society, the British Tarantula Society and the Veterinary Invertebrate Society, as well as being a founding member of the British Bee Veterinary Association which started in 2015. He is also a member of the BIAZA Terrestrial Invertebrate Working Group.

Benjamin’s ultimate goal is to create an environment where there is expertise and enthusiasm for the veterinary care of invertebrates. He feels in particular that tarantulas are intelligent, sentient beings worthy of the same level of care and respect that is dedicated to other more conventional domestic species. 



Guy Tansley and Paul Carpenter: Zimbabwe 2015 “murinus, I presume?”

Synopsis: Paul Carpenter and Guy Tansley have travelled to many of the worlds most amazing places in search of tarantulas.

Bio: Paul Carpenter and Guy Tansley have travelled to many of the worlds most amazing places in search of tarantulas


Richard Gallon: – Tarantula Taxonomy: methods, equipment and practicalities

Synopsis: This lecture will cover the practicalities of tarantula taxonomy. Equipment, methods, limitations and politics will all be discussed. Find out how and why does Tarantula Taxonomy operates in such a mysterious way.

Bio: Richard Gallon has been working on the Taxonomy of African tarantulas since 1995 and has published several scientific papers clarifying their taxonomy and distribution. He was editor of the BTS Journal for about 10 years and has been a member of the society since 1989. He is also the editor of the British Arachnological Society Newsletter.

Eddy Hijmensen: Title to be advised
Synopsis: **
Bio – **
Mark Pennell: Borneo Land of the head-hunters – The search for the tree-spiders of the Hutan
Synopsis: This is the story of our search for arboreal tarantulas in Borneo and the quest for a new un-described species of Phomingochilus This adventure in reality begins way back in May 1999 with my introduction to Malaysia and its beautiful flora and fauna.
Bio – Mark is a committee member of the BTS and has been keeping and breeding tarantulas since 1981, he has travel to many parts of the globe during this time, place such as Mexico, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic. Since 1999 he has concentrated his search for tarantulas in the wild to Malaysia and Borneo. From 2001 to 2010 was the co organiser of the Earth tiger tours, which over many years introduced many a keen hobbyist to the fun and adventure of jungle life and tarantula expeditions.
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BTS Lectures & Dinner 2017
GBP £60.00
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