Tony Sinclair (biologist)

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Tony Sinclair
Anthony Ronald Entrican Sinclair

(1944-03-25) March 25, 1944 (age 75) [1]
Residence Steveston, British Columbia
Alma mater University of Oxford
Known for Serengeti research
Scientific career
Fields Zoology
Institutions University of British Columbia
Thesis Studies of the ecology of the East African buffalo  (1971)
Doctoral advisor Niko Tinbergen [3]
Doctoral students Stan Boutin

Anthony Ronald Entrican Sinclair FRSC FRS (born March 25, 1944) [1] is a professor emeritus of zoology at the University of British Columbia. [2] [4]

Fellowship of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC) is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of Canada judges to have "made remarkable contributions in the arts, the humanities and the sciences, as well as in Canadian public life".

Zoology is the branch of biology that studies the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct, and how they interact with their ecosystems. The term is derived from Ancient Greek ζῷον, zōion, i.e. "animal" and λόγος, logos, i.e. "knowledge, study".

University of British Columbia Public research university in British Columbia, Canada

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a public research university with campuses in Vancouver and Kelowna, British Columbia. Established in 1908, UBC is British Columbia's oldest university. The university has ranked among the top three universities in Canada. With an annual research budget of $600 million, UBC funds over 8,000 projects a year.


Education and early life

Sinclair spent his early childhood in the African bush in Tanzania, where his love for Africa and animals led him to study for degrees in zoology at Pembroke College, Oxford. [1] [2] For his doctoral dissertation, Sinclair conducted research into the ecology of African Buffalo under Niko Tinbergen at the University of Oxford [3] with supervision from Hugh Lamprey at the Serengeti Research Institute. [5]

The bush refers to undeveloped rural areas

"The bush" is a rural, undeveloped area, usually one that is heavily forested and sparsely populated. The term is mostly used in the English vernacular of Australia and New Zealand where it is largely synonymous with backwoods, outback and hinterland.

Tanzania Country in Africa

Tanzania officially the United Republic of Tanzania, is a country in East Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It borders Uganda to the north; Kenya to the northeast; Comoro Islands at the Indian Ocean to the east; Mozambique and Malawi to the south; Zambia to the southwest; and Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, is in north-eastern Tanzania.

Africa The second largest and second most-populous continent, mostly in the Northern and Eastern Hemispheres

Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognised sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

Research and career

Sinclair is an ecologist and leading authority on the ecology, population dynamics and community structures of large mammals. His work is of importance for the management and conservation of the environment in Africa, North America and Australia. He is particularly interested in the areas of predator sensitive foraging, predator–prey theory, migration and the regulation of populations. [2]

Ecology Scientific study of the relationships between living organisms and their environment

Ecology is a branch of biology that studies the interactions among organisms and their biophysical environment, which includes both biotic and abiotic components. Topics of interest include the biodiversity, distribution, biomass, and populations of organisms, as well as cooperation and competition within and between species. Ecosystems are dynamically interacting systems of organisms, the communities they make up, and the non-living components of their environment. Ecosystem processes, such as primary production, pedogenesis, nutrient cycling, and niche construction, regulate the flux of energy and matter through an environment. These processes are sustained by organisms with specific life history traits.

Population dynamics the branch of life sciences studying changes in the size and age composition of populations

Population dynamics is the branch of life sciences that studies the size and age composition of populations as dynamical systems, and the biological and environmental processes driving them. Example scenarios are ageing populations, population growth, or population decline.

By conducting long-term research on large mammals in the MaraSerengeti ecosystem and elsewhere in East Africa, Sinclair showed the ways in which different animal populations are regulated. He has also investigated how plant-eating animals are able to co-exist with each other, even when they have overlapping food sources. [2]

Maasai Mara protected area of Kenya

TheMaasai Mara is a large game reserve in Narok County, Kenya, contiguous with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. It is named in honor of the Maasai people and their description of the area when looked at from afar: "Mara" means "spotted" in the local Maasai language of Maa, due to the many trees which dot the landscape.

Serengeti geographical region in Africa

The Serengeti ecosystem is a geographical region in Africa. It is located in northern Tanzania. It spans approximately 30,000 km2 (12,000 sq mi).

East Africa Eastern region of the African continent

East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern region of the African continent, variably defined by geography. In the United Nations Statistics Division scheme of geographic regions, 20 territories make up Eastern Africa:

Sinclair and his work are featured prominently in the documentary film, The Serengeti Rules , which was released in 2018. [6]

<i>The Serengeti Rules</i> film

The Serengeti Rules is a 2018 HHMI Tangled Bank Studios and Passion Planet documentary film directed by Nicolas Brown, and based on the book by Sean B. Carroll. The film explores the discoveries of five pioneering scientists—Tony Sinclair, Mary E. Power, Bob Paine, John Terborgh, and Jim Estes—whose decades of research laid the groundwork for modern ecology and offer hope that environmentalists today may able to “upgrade” damaged ecosystems by understanding the rules that govern them.

Awards and honours

In 1996, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC) [7] and he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2002. [2]

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  1. 1 2 3 "SINCLAIR, Prof. Anthony Ronald Entrican". Who's Who . 2004 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.(subscription or UK public library membership required)(subscription required)
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Anon (2002). "Professor Anthony Sinclair FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2015-11-17. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:
    “All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” -- "Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on September 25, 2015. Retrieved 2016-03-09.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. 1 2 Sinclair, Anthony (2012). Serengeti Story: Life and Science in the World's Greatest Wildlife Region. Oxford University Press. p. 33. ISBN   9780199645527.
  4. "Anthony R.E. Sinclair, Professor Emeritus".
  5. Sinclair, Anthony Ronald Entrican (1970). Studies of the ecology of the East African buffalo (DPhil thesis). University of Oxford. OCLC   153917797.
  6. "'The Serengeti Rules': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  7. " biography of tony sinclair".