Award-winning filmmaker to give public talk



Doug Allan

From biting Arctic winds to the wild heights of the Bolivian altiplano, Doug Allan has filmed in some of Earth's most breath-taking environments.

Now the seasoned wildlife and documentary cameraman who has worked with the likes of Sir David Attenborough, National Geographic and the Discovery Channel, will talk about his fascinating career during a public talk at Heriot-Watt University later this month.  

Scientists at Heriot-Watt and around the world are giving us all a greater understanding of our impact on the natural world, which is what I also attempt to do from behind a lens.

Doug Allan

The multi-award winning filmmaker, who lives in Dunfermline, will share many highlights from his 35-years behind the lens, including some strange and wonderful assignments.

Doug said: “My career has taken me from Fife to all over the world.

“During the show I'll look back at the highlights and share some of my most treasured experiences including filming orcas spectacularly washing seals off ice floes, going under the ice with Weddell seals, and overwintering with Emperor penguins.”

The Fife-born man got his big break in 1976 when he secured a job as a research diver in south Orkney for the British Antarctic Survey.  

Doug's passion for diving has never left him and it was after learning of Heriot-Watt's pioneering marine research that he made a special request to include the University's Edinburgh campus on his theatre tour that has been running since October.

Tickets are now available with all proceeds going to a charity close to his heart, the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) – an organisation dedicated to the rescue and wellbeing of all marine animals in distress around the UK.

Doug added: “Heriot-Watt has a fantastic reputation in marine research and it seemed appropriate for me to give a talk at this wonderful institution.

“Scientists at Heriot-Watt and around the world are giving us all a greater understanding of our impact on the natural world, which is what I also attempt to do from behind a lens.

“And on the ground there are countless charities that are making tremendous strides in protecting our natural world, which is so important. The BDMLR is one such charity and I'm thrilled to be able to help them.”

Doug's work has earned him a reputation as one of the world's best known cameramen, specialising in natural history, expeditions and science documentaries

He has filmed at both poles and has made over 250 filming trips, contributing to a string of celebrated nature documentaries including The Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Life and Frozen Planet.

Professor Michel Kaiser, Chief Scientist at Heriot-Watt, added: “The importance of Doug's work cannot be emphasised enough, he and his colleagues have used their skill and passion to highlight the effects that our changing climate are having on nature. Many of the images they have brought to our living rooms have etched an indelible reality of the magnitude of the challenges confronting our biosphere

“I also want to take this opportunity to recognise the hard work of all the students belonging to the Biology Society who gone to great lengths to bring this fantastic event to our campus.”

Doug Allan will give his talk on Friday 29 November in Heriot-Watt University's James Watt 1. To book your seat call 01825 765546 or email

Doors open at 7pm and tickets are priced at £12 per person (concessions are £10) with all proceeds going to charity.

By Craig McManamon

Communications Officer

T: 0131 451 8099