Training and research schools
The academic study of foraminifera began as the pursuit of the ‘gentleman naturalist’ in the nineteenth century, only becoming a professional occupation with the employment of micropalaeontologists by the (British) Geological Survey. The formal training of micropalaeontologists in British universities (and polytechnics) really began in the 1940s (post-World War ll) and much of this history can be traced back to Alan Wood and the employment predictions of F. R. S. Henson. Wood, either directly or indirectly, began the teaching of micropalaeontology at Imperial College (London), Aberystwyth and University College (London), and these three centres went on to develop and nurture the expertise we see in a wide range of schools and departments today. The rise, and fall, of MSc and MRes courses in UK geoscience departments is described, as well as the wide range of locations at which PhD training and research is undertaken. Much of this history can be related to the development of oil exploration, in the North Sea Basin and worldwide, and the need for suitably qualified personnel.