May 11 2021

Minerva Scientifica Birthday Celebration: Elaine Bullard

11th May 2021Elaine Bullard
BORN 11th May 1915, Greenwich, London

Elaine Bullard taken by herself 
photo provided by Sydney Gauld

Elaine Bullard (1915 – 2011) carried out her most important work in the Orkney Islands, visiting them all to study the flora, meticulously recording their Latin names. She produced many papers on botanical species over many decades, most notably on the Scottish primrose, Primula scotica and wrote and made valuable contributions to reference works, including the Natural history of Orkney (1985). She succeeded in her campaign for the establishment of the Orkney Biodiversity Records Centre and was one of the founder members of the Orkney Field Club, becoming its President for many years.

Tystie and the Primrose by Frances M Lynch
(click the blue button above to listen)

Tystie is the Caithness word for the Black Guillemot which is currently the subject of study by Elizabeth Masden, an ecologist working at the Environmental Research Institute at North Highland College in Thurso. The music combines her work  with that of Elaine Bullard with particular reference to the Scottish Primrose, and their conservation work so many years apart in Caithness.

The Scottish Birds Eye Primrose is confined to the extreme north coast of Caithness, Sutherland and Orkney; it is found nowhere else in the world. It risks extinction at many of its few remaining sites……

The music was written in 2018/ 2020 and is for solo voice, speakers and flute. It is performed by the composer with a pre-recorded track of the voices of Music Students from Wick High School and flute samples.

Tystie and the Primrose

Find out more about Elaine Bullard  on her Minerva Scientifica Page 

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Created by electric voice theatre, Minerva Scientifica is a project that brings together professional performers with community musicians and school children. Together, we raise awareness of the rich heritage and deep connections between music and science, and inspire the next generation of future scientists.

Minerva Scientifica – Connections 2020