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Fellows Directory

Brian Follett

Sir Brian Follett FRS


Elected: 1984


Brian Follett is an animal physiologist who specialises in studying how reproduction in birds is affected by changes in the length of the day. In the course of his research, Brian helped to develop a technique that allows the minute measurement of hormone levels. In parallel, he has published around 300 papers on biological clocks and seasonal reproduction.

By successfully applying his measurement technique, Brian has deepened our understanding of hormone cycles in birds and animals. His research into the effects of day length focussed on how and where light changes are detected in the brain, and on the neural–hormonal pathways within the brain that trigger the pituitary gland to release hormones — prompting sex organ development.

Brian has also made major contributions to public life. He chaired a UK government enquiry into foot and mouth disease, helping to develop a containment policy. He is a committed teacher who has been President of the Association for Science Education and Chair of the Training and Development Agency for Schools.