WHILE many will be enjoying their summer holidays a North-East lecturer will be having a whale of a time in North America as he jets off to work for an international trust.

Alex Lockwood, a Sunderland University Senior Lecturer in Journalism has been awarded a Travelling Fellowship for the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and will leave the UK in June for a two month period speaking throughout Canada and America.

However, it will not be University buildings where the lectures will be taking place, Mr Lockwood will be swapping the classroom to speak at aquariums and whale museums in a series of 12 talks in cities such as Vancouver, Seattle and Los Angeles.

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Mr Lockwood has worked as a journalist, editor and editorial manager across a number of national magazines and online services, particularly in the music and creative arts sector, and in development and environmental journalism.

During his visit to North America he will be researching best practice in marine mammal conservation education.

Mr Lockwood said: “This is a really fantastic, life-changing opportunity to further my experience as a writer and researcher. I've already been working in the North-East with the charity ORCA, going into schools and helping grow confidence, talent and environmental awareness amongst the region's school children.

“This travel fellowship will allow me to work with some of the world's leading organisations in this field, so I can bring that knowledge back to the region.”

The Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowships are awarded to a select group of academics throughout the UK provide opportunities for British citizens to go abroad to carry out research projects. They are designed to exchange ideas and best practice, and build greater understanding between peoples and different cultures, in order that professions and communities in the UK can benefit from these shared experiences.

It is hoped they will return after their wider experience with a greater understanding of the particular topic and on their return tell their local community what they learned.