Cambrian News photographer - Iolo Williams cuts the ribbon to declare the exhibition open. Also pictured are Dr Richard Bevins, keeper of natural sciences at Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum of Wales, and Dr Rhodri Llwyd Morgan

TV presenter Iolo Williams has thanked Aberystwyth University for staging an exhibition showcasing one of his heroes.

The Cambrian News reported “The naturalist gave thanks as he officially opened an exhibition on the life and work of Alfred Russel Wallace at the university’s Old College.

Wallace: The Forgotten Evolutionist?features the ground-breaking work of a remarkable Welshman who discovered the process of evolution by natural selection alongside Charles Darwin. The latter is well-known for his work but Wallace, as Iolo explained, is a man very few people have heard of.

Addressing a room of invited guests and members of the public, Iolo introduced Wallace’s work, showing off some of the collection of birds brought to Britain by the evolutionist in the 1800s.

Wallace, who travelled to the Amazon and the Mayal Archipelago, managed to collect over 125,000 animal specimens, published more than 800 articles and wrote 22 books. He also had the revolutionary idea of evolution by natural selection entirely independently of Charles Darwin.

“Wallace was an intrepid explorer, a pioneering naturalist and a remarkable intellectual,” he said.

“This fascinating exhibition – featuring specimens of creatures from far-flung corners – will give people a real understanding of the breadth and depth of his work, and his contribution to our understanding of natural evolution.”

Dr Rhodri Llwyd Morgan, pro vice-chancellor at Aberystwyth University, said: “We’ve all heard of Charles Darwin and The Origin of Species but surprisingly few know about the immense contribution made by Alfred Russel Wallace to the theory of evolution. In exploring his life and work, this exhibition will help raise further awareness about this extraordinary Welshman” here.

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