Dr Janet Sumner has a huge passion for the natural world.
She says that
one of the best things about filming Hand on Nature was getting so close to the
Janet Sumner's most thrilling moment during Hands on Nature turned
out to be seeing the last Golden Eagle in England from about half a mile away
in the Lake District.
Other highlights of the series were swimming with
seals off the Isles of Scilly, getting up close and personal with bats in Northern
Ireland, and going in search of a wide variety of wildlife including small mammals
and lava flows
Janet is a Research Fellow at the Open University in Milton
Keynes, and Project Leader for joint BBC-Open University Science Broadcast Projects.
She is usually to be found scrambling about on, or inside, active volcanoes
such as Stromboli or Etna, where she does her research, or even fire-walking on
the lava flows of Hawaii.
Born in Crewe, Cheshire, she did her degree in
Geology at Sheffield University, and her PhD in Volcanology in Germany.
the last 10 years she has been travelling the world researching volcanoes.
work is very much based on field research, but also encompasses laboratory experiments
and computational fluid dynamics, which is not as dull as it sounds given that
she works with buckets of golden syrup and even cream eggs!
taste for adventure is not restricted to her work.
She has tried most extreme
sports from skydiving and paragliding to pot holing and scuba diving, but has
settled on free climbing as her sport of choice, because the abseiling is useful
for getting down into volcanoes.
Janet is passionate about communicating
science to the general public in an exciting and hands-on way.
She has also
presented on BBC2's 'Science Shack' and 'What the Industrial Revolution did for
us' together with Adam Hart-Davis, and 'The Natural History of Great Britain'
with Alan Titchmarsh.
You can see her presenting Hands on Nature on BBC
Two from 28 November.
Meet the rest of the Hands on