Jan 7

Ben Roberts, Wildscreen In-House DesignerI’ve been working at Wildscreen since August 2008, starting as a Graduate Intern after completing a Media Practice BA Hons degree at the University of the West of England (UWE). I’m now the In-house Designer – much snappier title! – across the whole of Wildscreen, which includes Wildscreen Festival, WildPhotos, and of course ARKive.

I do all-sorts at Wildscreen, from designing the annually-refreshed branding of our events, to creating the banners, posters, leaflets, ads and signage for all our initiatives. I’m usually involved in the visual design of updates and new features on the ARKive website too. A big change which I’ve been working on recently was the new species page design, which launched at the end of 2010.

I also do other, more technical, website “stuff”, like building the Wildscreen Trust website and keeping the WildPhotos website updated.

What are you currently working on?

Lots of bits and bobs! The main print-based things I’ll be designing soon are the 2011 ARKive Development Plan and the Wildscreen Annual Report. I’ll also be looking at updates to the education pages, e-cards and sponsor pages on ARKive, along with new marketing materials and business cards for the rest of the team.

Then there’s WildPhotos 2011 in October, which we’ll hopefully be launching with a new look soon! I am also going to start looking at something big related to ARKive, which I don’t think I’m allowed to say anything about yet. Keep your eyes peeled later in the year!

What animal skill would you most like to have?

Either the chameleon’s ability to turn invisible, or the shrew’s ability to be able to eat 90% of its own body weight every day!

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

Well I’d need a chef, so I’d probably go with Heston Blumenthal, since he could probably make me a venue too! That, and the fact that he once made a giant Pot Noodle, means he’s a must.

Secondly, I’d invite Derren Brown, because I’ve always wanted to know how his mind tricks work, and see if they’d work on me! He seems like a nice and intelligent guy too, so I’m sure there would be some good conversation. I’d also invite Pingu, because penguins are cool.

Where in the world would you most like to go?

Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, mmm! But if we’re limiting this to actual places, I’ve always wanted to visit the Great Wall of China for sightseeing and photography opportunities. I’ve also always wanted to go on safari. Maybe I could merge the two – do they have giraffes and cheetahs in China?

 Which celebrity do you most look like?

I’ve been told quite a few. Screech from Saved by the Bell used to be a common one. Mika has been mentioned, as has Elijah Wood (as Frodo Baggins). There was also some random cyclist in the Tour de France! I don’t see any of them myself… can’t someone say Brad Pitt?!

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

I haven’t had many as most of my travelling has been to cities, but I went to the Farne Islands off the cost of North-East England where there were hundreds of seabirds, including puffins. It was great for the amateur photographer in me, and some of my photos from that trip are on ARKive. Insert shameless self-promotion here. And here. I also saw a hedgehog once.

What’s your favourite thing on ARKive?

I don’t have a favourite species as there are just so many to choose from, and picking a load of my favourite photos from ARKive doesn’t really count as ‘a thing’…so my favourite thing is this MYARKive scrapbook (which basically contains a load of my favourite photos from ARKive!).

Tell us an animal related joke.

A fish swam into a wall. Damn.

  • Bruce Kernan (January 9th, 2011 at 1:23 pm):

    Ben, I urgently need a list of all the endangered, vulnerable, rare, threatened species in the IUCN Red List that occur in Uganda. Is there a way to get such a list from your web site? Thanks and regards, Bruce

  • ARKive (January 10th, 2011 at 10:27 am):

    Hi Bruce,

    You can get a list of all threatened species found in Uganda from the IUCN Red List directly. Simply use the ‘other search options’, where you can select the country and categories of threat to produce a list of species.

    Alternatively if you would like some help with this you can email the ARKive Media Team at arkive@wildscreen.org.uk, who would be happy to help.

    Thanks for visitng the ARKive blog!