Alan Higgins was born in Hanley, Staffordshire on 16 December 1936, the youngest of three children. Throughout his childhood he was fascinated by the natural history of the nearby Peak District and it was not surprising that sciences played an important part in his education at Hanley High School. In 1955, he went to the University of Sheffield to study Geology and obtained a 2(1) degree in 1958. During those early years in Sheffield, he came under the influence of the late Professor Leslie Moore and, on graduation, was encouraged by him to under-take research on Namurian conodonts. At that...

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