Prof to Be on National Geographic

November 03, 2010 - In the News

U of G integrative biology professor John Fryxell is part of an unprecedented National Geographic television event. His research on the migration of herbivores is prominently featured in a seven-part program, Great Migrations, that will begin airing Sunday night on the National Geographic Channel (check local listings for time).

The series took three years to produce and was filmed in 20 countries on all seven continents. It will premiere worldwide in 34 languages in 330 million homes in 166 countries, including Canada. There will also be coverage in National Geographic magazine and an official companion book. It’s the largest programming production in National Geographic history.

Great Migrations looks at how millions of animals, from monarch butterflies and sandhill cranes to ocean-going sea turtles and wildebeest in Africa, undertake epic journeys often involving great distances and extreme climates.

Fryxell will be featured in the "Science of Great Migrations" episode, which airs Nov. 9. It includes extensive footage shot in the Serengeti of Fryxell, his PhD student Andrew Kittle, and their research team of Tanzanian field assistants studying the ecology of migratory herbivores and their suite of predators.

Fryxell has been researching migration for some 30 years, including the nearly two million wildebeests and zebras that loop the Serengeti plains from Tanzania to Kenya and back each year.

He talks about his research, including how his interest in the subject started while doing PhD work in the Sudan, in an interview advancing Great Migrations that is posted on the National Geographic website.

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