7 October 2021

Winter Lecture: Unravelling the mysteries of the Purple Emperor butterfly

Join us for the first Winter Lecture of the series as we unravel the mysteries of the Purple Emperor butterfly with naturalist Matthew Oates.

The Purple Emperor is a spectacular British butterfly and one that has always been a prized sighting for naturalists. New research and studies, pioneered by Matthew and published in his engaging books, are revealing much about this special insect. Rewilding combined with climate change are also favouring a resurgence of this beautiful butterfly– a good news story when most reports are of wildlife loss.

Find out more about this incredible butterfly, including how to entice it down from the trees with smelly prawns, in this illustrated lecture.

Speaker: Matthew Oates is an English naturalist and nature writer, in love with the natural world, particularly with butterflies. Matthew writes monthly pieces for The Times Nature Notebook column and has been a guest on TV and radio programmes such as Countryfile, One Show, Springwatch. His latest book His Imperial Majesty, a natural history of the Purple Emperor is out now.

How to take part:

The Winter Lectures are free but you need to book your ticket in advance. All Winter Lectures are held at Bristol University, not Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.

Venue address:
Priory Road Lecture Theatre,
University of Bristol,
8 Woodland Road,

Please arrive 15 minutes before the advertised start time to take your seat. Parking in the area can be difficult so you may want to allow extra time to find a space if you are driving to the venue.

Image: Charlie Jackson, CC BY 2.0

Additional information

About the Winter Lectures

Bristol Museums have delivered a Winter Lecture Series between October and April every year since 1948. Past speakers have included many of the leading experts of their time and some famous faces.

Today, the Winter Lectures are sponsored by the Friends of Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives and are free and open to all. Lectures are all connected in some way to Bristol Museum’s amazing collections and cover a range of subjects including geology, natural history, archaeology, art and world cultures.