2018 Alex Hopkins Memorial Lecture & Dinner: How to Make a Dwarf Mammoth by Dr Tori Herridge

23 Mar 2018
Location: Bristol Myers Squibb Lecture Theatre, Department of Chemistry
Start time: 17:00
End time: 18:00

This year’s lecture, entitled 'How to Make a Dwarf Mammoth' is to be given by Dr Tori Herridge, a palaeobiologist at the Natural History Museum, London

Is there anything more oxymoronic than a dwarf mammoth? Yet they, and other dwarf elephant species, evolved many, many times during the Ice Age. For such a seemingly improbable beast, their story is strangely predictable, and all you seem to need to make one is an island. In this talk, Dr Tori Herridge will take a tour through the weird world of ice age islands, exploring how and why dwarf elephants evolved, and how evolution can be both simpler, and more predictable than often thought. Using the clues that evolution has left behind in these remarkable fossils, she will explore the ins and outs – and rights and wrongs – of trying to bring them back. After all, people always think a 1m tall mammoth would make a wonderful pet, but could it be possible? And should it?

The lecture will be followed by drinks and dinner at Churchill College. Fellows and Alumni can use their High Table dining rights provided they are still within their allowance – but any non-alumni or guests wishing to attend the dinner can book and pay for a guest place at High Table using the form below.

Speaker: Dr Tori Herridge

Dr Tori Herridge

Dr Tori Herridge is a palaeobiologist at the Natural History Museum in London who specialises in fossil elephants, particularly those species which lived in Europe during the Ice Age: mammoths and straight-tusked elephants. Her claim to fame is discovering the world's smallest mammoth. She is also a TV presenter, an award-winning science communicator, has autopsied a permafrost mammoth, and is currently on a quest to uncover the hidden history of women in archaeology, palaeontology and geology at trowelblazers.com.


Bristol Myers Squibb Lecture Theatre
Department of Chemistry
Lensfield Road

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Churchill College High Table Bookings

  • Fellows wishing to attend High Table should do so through the Fellows High Table Booking Form.
  • Churchill alumni wishing to attend High Table should do so through the Alumni High Table Booking Form and select the High Table date as Friday 23rd March.
  • If you are not a Fellow or alumna/alumnus of Churchill College, you may book a place at the dinner via the lecture booking form below.

Churchill College Accommodation

A limited number of undergraduate ensuite rooms are available for the night of Friday 23 March. To book a room please email the accommodation office. Please note that room booking requests for this event can only be submitted and confirmed from 16 February onwards.


The Alex Hopkins Memorial Fund

Alex Hopkins

Alex Hopkins was a student and Teaching Fellow in Chemistry at Churchill College who died tragically young in 2006. Each year, the Alex Hopkins Memorial Fund supports the award of one or more prizes for outstanding overall achievement in the final Tripos examination in Chemistry as well as sponsoring an annual lecture to be held in the Department of Chemistry.

Alex’s infectious enthusiasm and humour characterised his teaching and his exceptional ability to communicate his passion for science. The lectures, although routed in science, aim to be as much about entertaining as educating and are designed to be appealing and accessible to all.

Book a place

Those wishing to attend the lecture need to reserve a place via the booking form below.