Robin Wootton is a retired zoologist, entomologist and biomechanicist, and occasional palaeoentomologist. He taught at Exeter University for 41 years, retiring in 2002 as Reader in Insect Biomechanics. His primary research field was insect flight mechanics, with particular reference to the functioning and engineering of insect wings, an area which he and his students pioneered. Towards the end of his career he took a largely passive interest in the application of insect flight mechanics to the development of small flying robots – Micro Air Vehicles.
Since 1968 Robin has been a member of the Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Literature and the Arts – a unique, 152 year old organization dedicated to the understanding and appreciation of every aspect of Devon through research, publication and discussion. He was Chairman from 2008 to 2014, and active in strengthening the Association, broadening its coverage and raising its profile; and initiating two new special interest Sections – Music and Industrial Archaeology – to complement the six that already existed. He organised the Association's first ever art exhibition, in Exeter from 9th - 26th October 2014, and is in the midst of planning a major symposium and
celebration of historical and cultural links between Devon and Newfoundland in 2017, led by the DA in collaboration with the Devon Family History Society. He chairs the Association's Literature and Art Section and is on the committees of the Music Section and Entomology Section.
Robin remains in contact with entomologists, palaeoentomologists and biomechanicists worldwide, and is currently (slowly) writing a book on the mechanics and evolution of insect wings. He lectures widely to a variety of audiences, primarily on aspects of animal flight, insect wings and evolution, and folding structures from origami to beetle hindwings, and occasionally on animal illustrators and historic naturalists.
This meeting will be held at Newcourt Community Centre, Blakeslee Drive, The Rydons, Exeter EX2 7FN.