Stewart Finlayson is the Director of the Gibraltar National Museum’s Natural History Department and has just completed his PhD at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge (UK). Stewart’s PhD is in Life Sciences, Evolutionary Biology, specifically looking at the relationship between Neanderthals and birds, how Neanderthals exploited these animals, what species, in specific, were being used, and for what reason. Stewart is also working on birds as climate indicators, trying to establish what habitats looked like based on the bird species found in the fossil record across Europe.
Stewart’s passion has always been wildlife, and he has been involved from a very young age, in various studies working with birds around Iberia alongside Professor Clive and Professor Geraldine Finlayson; his parents.
Stewart heads a study of Chiroptera in Gibraltar since 2013. The study, aptly named Gib-Bats, has looked at the population status of bats within Gibraltar and identified which species have gone locally extinct, and also identified new species, which had not been described for Gibraltar before. Gib-Bats is now the advising entity to Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar on all aspects to do with bats and is actively creating awareness of bats, in Gibraltar, running yearly bat nights (The Eurobats bat night) at which over 300 people, including many young children, come to find out about these nocturnal animals. He also works closely with the Education Officer at the museum on the annual education programme in collaboration with the Department of Education in Gibraltar.