Houseflies, bluebottles, fruit flies - Brett Westwood explores how these flies that live close to us have buzzed in our imagination but have also taught us much about who we are. A scholar of literature, a genetic investigator, a naturalist, a forensic entomologist and a plain fly-lover come together to talk flies: Steve Connor, Peter Lawrence, Peter Marren, Martin Hall, and Erica McAlister. Readers: Anton Lesser and Niamh Cusack. Producer: Tim Dee.
Dr Erica McAlister
She has carried out contract work for the MoD in Tajikistan, where she was involved in the training of mosquito identification and malaria incrimination over a three year project. She is also involved in UK Mosquito projects which have included incriminating for viruses and also for genomic resolution.
Dr Martin Hall
He joined the Natural History Museum, London, in 1989 to research forensic and veterinary entomology, studying fly larvae that develop on dead and/or living tissues. Martin has worked as a forensic entomologist on more than 175 criminal cases during the past 25 years, mainly in cases of murder.
Professor Steven Connor
In 2000 he published Dumbstruck and in 2002 succeeded Paul Hirst as the Academic Director of the London Consortium.
His most recent books are Beyond Words: Sobs, Hums, Stutters and Other Vocalizations (London: Reaktion 2014) and Beckett, Modernism and the Material Imagination (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014). Living By Numbers: In Defence of Quantity will appear from Reaktion in 2016.
Dr Peter Lawrence
The fruit fly drosophila is the experimental system of choice and for the last twenty years or so, in collaboration with José Casal in Cambridge, Gary Struhl at the HHMI, Columbia University, NY and David Strutt in Sheffield, Peter has been investigating the development of the larval and adult abdomen.
He also writes obituaries for the Independent, conservation news for Whitaker’s Almanack, formerly has a column in The Countryman and is regular contributor to British Wildlife, which includes his famous column of biting wit, Twitcher in the Swamp.