Dr Mary Ann Steggles is a Canadian writer and researcher. She recently retired from her position as Professor at the University of Manitoba to pursue full time research and writing about raptors. She currently lives on the Canadian Prairies.
Dr Steggles’ first close-up encounter with a Sharp-shinned Hawk sealed her love for birds of prey. She readily admits that turning outward to things with feathers that fly and the environmental impact humans have on these beautiful creatures ultimately led her to Ospreys. She is obsessed with them. Dr Steggles’ most recent research is a long-term study of the survivability of third hatch Ospreys and how our changing climate contributes to evolutionary changes in Ospreys, such as breeding sites and migratory routes.
Dr Steggles is a member of the Raptor Research Foundation, the British Trust for Ornithology, the Society of Canadian Ornithologists, Birdlife International, and the American Ornithological Society. Along with her colleague, Claudio Eduardo, she is building an international database for monitoring Osprey streaming nests, Free Wild Birds. The site will be able to be viewed by the public in 2023. The purpose is to track over 80 international Osprey nests with streaming cams. The data will be able to provide extensive information on fledgling rates, returns from migration, and predation causes and rates. The site will also track Ospreys that have been taken into care.
Dr Steggles is an advocate for intervention, and an animal right’s activist. The blog attached to this information page hopes to bring awareness to the challenges that birds face worldwide with the anticipation that by learning about raptors and seeing that they are sentiment beings, humans will begin to mitigate their actions in order to create a better environment for wildlife. Dr Steggles believes that humans must live peacefully and in harmony with all beings – keep nature close, treat it with love, respect, and awe.
She is currently working on two books about raptors who have overcome adversity to fly – Tiny Tot Tumbles, the Story of the Third Hatch at Achieva in 2020 and WBSE 26. She hopes to complete a third book about Daisy the Duck ahead of the other two!
Dr Steggles received her PhD as a Commonwealth Scholar from Leicester University in 1993.
Earlier career: Dr Steggles won many awards for her teaching in both art history and ceramics including the coveted Olive Beatrice Stanton Award for Teaching Excellence at the University of Manitoba where she was the Associate Director and Acting Director of the School of Art from 2006-2016. She was an energetic young researcher and became an international expert in the history of British sculpture and particularly that exported to the Indian subcontinent. That research is included in Statues of the Raj (2001) and a book co-edited with Richard Barnes, British Sculpture in India. New Views and Old Memories (2011). She has lectured extensively on the topic with articles and book chapters including Marg, Chowkidar, History Today, Asian Studies Journal. “No Falling Statues. India’s Response to the Black Lives Matter Movement” in M. Trusted, J. Barnes, and M. Stocker, (Eds.), Toppling Statues. The Black Lives Matter Movement. Norwich. Frontier Publishing (2021).
Dr. Steggles research in the field of ceramics crossed the boundaries of contemporary practice and the environment. She was an Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence at Hospitalfield House, Arbroath, Scotland where she explored the theme of transience alongside locating ceramics within current environmental concerns. This singular event changed Dr Steggles focus and she became an outspoken critic of the traditional methods of teaching ceramics and the practice itself. Her research into the impact of ceramics formed the basis of several book chapters including “Manitoba Hydro’s Mega-Dams and the Ethical Teaching of Ceramics” in The City is an Ecosystem. Sustainable Education, Policy, and Practice (Routledge, 2022); “Can Ceramics Ever Be a Sustainable Practice” in White, A. & French, E. (Eds.), Making Eco (Logical). Waterloo: Wilfred Laurier Press (forthcoming); “Imaging the Climate Crisis: The Ceramics of Ayumi Horie, Julia Galloway, Amy Snider and Julianna Zwierciadlowska-Rhymer” in Nail, S. & Manfredi, C. (Eds.), Understanding, acknowledging, representing environmental emergency. University of Nantes: E-REA Special Issue.
During her time at Hospitalfield House, Dr Steggles connected with nature in a way that profoundly moved her away from public monuments and ceramics and towards a concern for the environment – a fact that underpins her study of raptors today. She constantly insists that humans have irreparably harmed our planet, making it difficult for our wildlife, particularly our feathered friends, to survive our debacle. Her goal is to help each of us understand our impact and to create a better environment in which her ‘beautiful feathered friends’ can survive.
Dr Steggles will tell you that she has been ‘fortunate’. She has been able to travel, staying for extended periods in various parts of Asia and Western Europe. She dreams of sitting on top of a mountain in Cuba, near Manzanillo, looking up at hundreds and hundreds of ospreys as they migrate from North to South America in September.
You can contact Dr Steggles through the form on the home page or by writing her directly at her e-mail: email@example.com She loves to hear from her readers!