Recently I received the sad news that my supervisor, Prof. Phil Hockey, had passed away after his fight with cancer. After having recently visited him to say my good byes I was not surprised that he had gone so quickly. Phil was one of the most respected ornithologists in the whole of Africa, his knowledge about Southern Africa’s birds was astounding. His love of science and enjoyment in asking new questions helped inspire me, and I am sure all of his students. As director of the Fitz (Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology) he was its guiding light and beating heart. His energy drove the Fitz, and it will be sorely missed. I have so much to thank Phil for, not only the opportunity he gave me to carry out my PhD and all of the assistance with going to conferences, but his continued support of the pied babbler project. Phil has changed my life, and I am sure he has changed the lives of so many other people either through giving them the love of birds or helping them in their scientific careers. I hope that my efforts in research will be a fitting tribute to him.
I am a behavioural ecologist, my main interests revolve around familial conflicts and their resolutions. However, my scientific interests are fairly broad.