Mark O’Shea

25th January 2010 Mark O’Shea, Blood, Sweat & Snakebites, The making of  ‘O’Shea’s Big Adventure’.  Mark, veteran field herpetologist of over 60 expeditions and filming trips to the tropics, is your guide as he explains the film making process, the problems of seeking out and filming wild animals in remote locations, the excitement when the elusive quest species is found, the disappointment when things go wrong.   Illustrated with vivid Power Point images and amusing anecdotes.

Evening sponsored by Tendring Reuse & Employment Enterprise

Mark O'Shea

The Royal Geographical Society was once synonymous with exploration and expeditions. During the 1970s and 1980s the RGS mounted a series of large-scale, multidisiplinary expeditions to some of the remotest parts of the world. Since then the Society seems to have turned its back on conducting its own expeditions. A significant number of Fellows wish to see a return to the heydays of the Society, they want the Society to once again mount large expeditions. However, the current RGS Council is against this return to large-scale expeditions. A Special General Meeting has been called for 18th May. If you are a Fellow or a Post-graduate Fellow of the RGS you can vote for the Resolution. If you are an interested member of the public you can voice your opinions and offer your support on The Beagle Campaign website.

Mark O’Shea has been FRGS for over 20 years and was the herpetologist on one the the RGS’s most successful expeditions, the Maracá Rainforest Project in northern Roraima, Brazil, during 1987-1988.

Read his open letter of support by clicking on this link. Up the Resolutionist

Visit the The Beagle Campaign website

1 comment

  1. ‘Blood, Sweat & Snakebites’ with Mark O’Shea
    Monday evening’s presentation witnessed the return, after some 17 years, of Mark O’Shea the well-known and respected Field Herpetologist. Unlike his previous visit Mike was unable to bring any specimens with him due to the difficult constraints that legislation now places upon the movement of dangerous animals. However, this did not detract at all from a very enjoyable evening.

    Through the media of a sophisticated audio visual presentation members were presented with an overview of Mark’s career which had evolved from his interest in keeping a Grass Snake as a young boy of 7. Various research projects and involvement with the West Midlands Safari Park (to whom he donated his collection of snakes) were followed by several forays into the sphere of Natural History films centred on Reptiles, and in particular his study of venomous snakes.

    It was as a result of his work for the BBC and the Discovery Channel that Mark was approached to become involved in a project that would occupy some five years of his career. The project was the making of “O’Shea’s Big Adventure” which encompassed reptilian subjects across the globe. Mike outlined in the first half of the evening the anatomy of making such a series and how on some occasions some projects never came to fruition due to political reasons or purely because the particular specimen they were seeking to film was impossible to track down.

    The second part of the evening focused on extracts of various ‘pieces to camera’ that Mark did and which linked the various sequences of his series together. The anecdotal nature of his presentation was very enjoyable and his interest and broad scientific knowledge in Reptiles and Amphibians was easily ascertained from the manner in which he delivered his talk.

    This was a very successful and enjoyable evening for the large numbers of members present. It successfully married entertainment and the imparting of information in a very fluid manner. It was evident that Mark was very passionate about his field of expertise, but he did not allow himself to become bogged down in nomenclature or over description. Presentations such as this only serve to underline the ethos of the society.

    The evening was sponsored by Tendring Reuse & Employment Enterprise.

    Robert Pearce

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