Jan 28

Alex Royan, ARKive Species Text Author

I studied Zoology at the University of Glasgow and then went on various research expeditions around the globe to further my interest in wildlife conservation. This eventually led me to ARKive and I have been working as a Species Text Author for just over a year now.

My main role is writing the species texts that accompany the media but I also work on the blog and write the odd e-newsletter.

What are you currently working on?

At the moment I am working on some texts for the new Jewels of the UAE chapter and recently completed texts on the ruddy shelduck and the collared kingfisher.

I have also been doing quite a bit for the ARKive blog recently – us Text Authors tend to write the articles for the In the News series

What animal skill would you most like to have?

This is tough, but being able to soar over huge mountain ranges like the Andean condor might be fun.

I really don’t like the cold very much though, so I wouldn’t mind having a coat like the Arctic fox or the muskox. Is that a skill?!

Which three people would you invite to the ultimate dinner party?

I think Oliver Reed would have been pretty entertaining. I would also love to meet Zinedine Zidane as he is a footballing legend. But they both have pretty wild reputations, so I might need someone to keep them under control. Muhammad Ali would probably have been good at that, as well as providing some funny quips, so he is my third person.

Where in the world would you most like to go?

I have been watching Michael Palin’s Himalaya recently which has really made me want to go to northern India and Nepal.

I would also like to explore more of the UK, especially the Outer Hebrides and the Shetland Isles.

Which celebrity do you most look like?

Basically anyone with a small head, a small mouth, and a large nose.

What’s the best wildlife encounter you’ve ever had?

I’ve been fortunate to have seen some pretty cool wildlife over the years, including a giant anteater in Venezuela and river dolphins in Bolivia. I also visited a beach called Grande Riviere in Trinidad, which has the largest concentration of nesting leatherback turtles in the world, with hundreds of turtles coming ashore to nest in a single night.

But I think seeing a Scottish wildcat is the most special as it is so elusive, and rare, as well as being the only wild cat species in the UK.

What’s your favourite thing on ARKive?

I’m really not sure; there is a lot to choose from. But I do like the pictures of the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey and the douc langurs.

I’m also a fan of the ARKive’s wild celebrities game – it’s pretty addictive, and for a very brief time I proudly held the office record, which Liz, a fellow Text Author, later stole from me. I think the record now stands at around 17,000. Can you beat it?

Tell us an animal related joke.

What do you get when two giraffes collide?

A giraffic jam.