We’re thrilled to have Megan McCubbin as Patron of Wonderseekers. She is a well-known advocate for nature and science and has a very unique way of communicating science – especially to children who love her friendly approach.
Megan is best known as a conservationist and TV presenter of programmes like BBC’s Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch. She’s also well known for her Antarctic photography and her ‘Self-Isolation Bird Club’ and is President of the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.
Megan believes we all have a responsibility to take action against climate change and can all make a difference to our environment. This passion and her ability to share her enthusiasm through science learning makes her a wonderful role model for children and families. It also makes her the perfect Patron for our Charity.
When did Megan’s love of science and nature begin?
Megan grew up in Hampshire and was a frequent visitor to the Science Centre as a child. Her interest in zoology stems from her childhood – she grew up in and around the Isle of Wight Zoo, which is renowned for its work rescuing and rehabilitating ex-circus and pet trade animals.
Megan studied BSc Zoology at the University of Liverpool and she graduated in 2018. Her research thesis was focussed on the social dynamics and interactions of ring-tailed lemurs in relation to enrichment practices.
Her love of animals and conservation has seen her travel the world in different climates with a vast array of species. Amongst many adventures, she’s volunteered for Africat in Namibia working on big cat conservation and teaching at environmental education workshops. She’s also spent time working alongside leading scientists at Bimini Biological Field Station (Sharklab) in the Bahamas researching the personality traits and ecology of sharks.
Megan and the ‘Self-Isolation Bird Club’
When the UK went into lockdown in 2020 during the pandemic, Megan launched the ‘Self-Isolation Bird Club’ with her stepfather, Chris Packham. The birdwatching programme was broadcast live every day on Facebook and YouTube from her home in the New Forest. Megan and Chris built a legion of followers who were helped to feel more connected with nature despite the stress of lockdown.
What excites Megan about Wonderseekers?
“Growing up locally, I used to visit Winchester Science Centre regularly as a child and remember how much fun it was."
"When I was at school, I found science really hard. I was told I was dyslexic when I was seven years old so I had to find the confidence to learn how I learn best. Coming to places like Winchester Science Centre as a child [...] had a massive influence in shaping the scientist I’ve become and the scientist I hope to be in the future."
What can we do to excite children in science and nature?
“I think every young person when they’re born is a natural scientist and what they’re really good at doing is asking questions. We’re all born with an innate curiosity about life around us because we’re part of that system – we’re wildlife, an animal species. So why wouldn’t we connect as young people, going around exploring our gardens and local green spaces trying to piece together what biodiversity is and what it does? We’re all biologists really!”
How can Wonderseekers help people make a difference?
“We need to give people something tangible they can do that’s within their means. If everyone does something today that they didn’t do yesterday, that can make a difference – whether that’s putting a hole in their fence for hedgehogs or going out to protest on the streets. I want people to feel empowered to use their voice.”
Interesting facts about Megan
- Megan’s stepfather is wildlife expert and BBC presenter, Chris Packham CBE. In 2020 she published her first book with him – Back to nature: How to Love Life and Save It.
- In 2019, Megan was appointed coordinator and judge of Young Bird Photographer of the Year.
- In 2007, Megan won the RSPCA’s Under 12 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award.
- Megan struggled with dyslexia at school, but at university, the support and passion of her lecturers in their subjects sparked her enjoyment of learning.
- Megan is an Ambassador for Helping Rhinos, a charity in South Africa.