Upon realising that I did not have the figure of a dancer, I decided to take biology at college, as it was the only subject that really interested me. Convinced I could single-handedly save the world’s endangered animals from peril, I went on to study zoology at the University of Bristol before moving to London and working for an environmental campaigning organisation. Never able to decide which animal I wanted to dedicate my life to helping, working in the ARKive team enables me to research a multitude of different species and collaborate with photographers and scientists from around the world, all hoping to spread the conservation message.
What are you currently working on?
At the moment I am trying to find images for several species of threatened crayfish from Mexico. So far, it is proving quite difficult so please get in touch if you can help me!
What animal skill would you most like to have?
I would like to have the speed and accuracy of a chameleon’s tongue. That way I could nab my colleagues’ food in the blink of an eye.
Which three people would you invite to the ultimate dinner party?
David Attenborough – I challenge George’s statement that he is the biggest fan at ARKive!
Maggie Smith – Quite simply because I love her.
Ricky Gervais – in his own words every dinner party should have ‘a little, fat man with a pug-nosed face’.
Where in the world would you most like to go?
Perhaps an obvious choice, but it would have to be Madagascar. Considered a biodiversity hotspot, the range of wildlife in Madagascar is unparalleled. It has one of the highest numbers of endemic species of any country – including over 50 species of lemur. In particular, I would love to see the Verreaux’s sifaka’s dance routine.
Which celebrity do you most look like?
I have been told I look like Ron Weasley from Harry Potter but I’m hoping that was a joke.
What’s the best wildlife encounter you’ve ever had?
Diving in the Great Barrier Reef was pretty incredible. Despite being ridiculously terrified of diving at night, especially with a broken torch, we did manage to see a turtle sleeping and the flick of a reef shark’s tail. Thinking slightly closer to home in Wales, having a whole roost of rare lesser horseshoe bats fly around my head was quite amazing too.
What’s your favourite thing on ARKive?
Definitely the sleepy meerkat video, or as it’s called on ARKive ‘Meerkat social behaviour’. It makes me laugh every time I watch it! They are lucky to have so many eyes looking out for potential danger otherwise their vigilant reputation would be in tatters!
I also love the images of the Cao-vit crested gibbon, as this was one of the first species I researched and images (and individuals!) are extremely rare.
Tell us an animal related joke.
To steal one from Jimmy Carr – ‘Venison’s dear, isn’t it.’