‘Mr Cairngorms’ honoured by Aberdeen Uni

Dr Adam
Dr Adam

A renowned Deeside scientist, Dr Adam Watson, has been made an Honorary Doctor of Science by the University of Aberdeen.

Known as ‘Mr Cairngorms’ for his second-to-none knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Cairngorms National Park, Dr Adam now adds the title of DSc to his impressive collection of degree abbreviations which follow his name.

He is a veteran Scottish ecologist, mountaineer and authority on the Cairngorms.

Born and schooled at Turriff, Aberdeenshire, his interest in hills and climbing began at nine and mountaineering at 16.

His degrees from the University of Aberdeen were a First Class Honours in 1952, a PhD on ptarmigan, and a DSc from publications.

With 300 peer-reviewed publications and 35 books, he contributed to general theory by showing that red grouse and ptarmigan can limit their populations by spacing behaviour.

His work spanned McGill University, Arctic Institute of North America, University of Aberdeen, Nature Conservancy, Institute of Terrestrial Ecology.

He became a senior principal scientific officer (special merit in research).

In 2012, he received the award for Excellence in Mountain Culture and the Golden Eagle Award of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild.

He served on the Countryside Commission for Scotland and Cairngorms Partnership, but has always remained staunchly independent by publicly demanding sound nature conservation.

The award of honorary degrees is one mechanism by which the university can enhance its profile and broaden its influence in the national and international communities by extending the range and quality of those associated with it.

To this end, honorary graduates will be asked to assist the university in whatever way they consider most appropriate.

Nominations for the award of honorary degrees are voted on by the Senate after consideration by the Honorary Degrees Committee.

All members of staff are eligible to submit nominations and heads of school consult their staff regarding potential candidates for honorary degrees.