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18 June 2014
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Hands on Nature

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Your Hands on Nature presenter

Dr Janet Sumner

Janet Sumner

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 animals.

Wildlife adventurer

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 reptiles.

Janet SumnerVolcanoes 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.

For the last 10 years she has been travelling the world researching volcanoes.

Janet's 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!

Janet SumnerAdventurer

Janet's 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.

Nature team

Meet the rest of the Hands on Nature team:

Chris Packham
Sanjida O'Connell
Mike Dilger


Watch and Listen

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Today's video clip:

Manx Shearwater

Hands on Nature


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