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17 September 2014
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Nature's Calendar

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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 Nature's Calendar was getting so close to the animals.

Janet Sumner goes wild in the country

Wildlife adventurer

Janet's most thrilling moment during the filming of Nature's Calendar was scubadiving to watch springtime 'fishy courtship' in the waters around the Channel Islands.

Other highlights included learning to stroke a bumble bee, walking in the footsteps of dinosaurs on the Isle of Wight, 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.

Nature team

Meet the rest of the Nature's Calendar team:

Chris Packham
Sanjida O'Connell
Mike Dilger

Meet the web team:

Sue Wilkinson



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