Feb 18
Rob Morgan - Photography www.RichardBudd.co.uk © 2010

www.RichardBudd.co.uk © 2010

I came to Bristol from Cardiff about five years ago to study Zoology, where much of my degree involved looking very closely at crayfish blood (which I admittedly loved). I’ve been with Wildscreen for just over two and a bit years as an ARKive Media Researcher.

Outside work I love photography, making films and being underwater. I’m a big Star Wars fan too. Naturally, Empire is the best.

What are you currently working on?

A few of ARKive’s species profiles were compiled a few years ago now, so the media team is currently updating them with some fantastic new imagery and footage. I’ve been tasked with such heavyweights as the great white shark, goliath frog, keel-scaled boa constrictor and chaffinch.

What animal skill would you most like to have?

Some species of nudibranch are known for their ability to incorporate the stinging cells of venomous prey items into their own bodies as a means of deterring predators.

There would no doubt be unforeseen consequences, but if I could somehow assimilate the defence mechanisms of other organisms into my being, that would be great.

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

Firstly, I’d invite the late Carl Sagan. I’ve learnt from Come Dine with Me that the best hosts make each course from scratch. In that case, I’ll certainly need some help with inventing the universe.

Mike deGruy would be next up. He’s an incredibly enthusiastic speaker so would surely be the life of the party. I’d also be able to get some great diving tips off him. Take a look at his TED talk.

Finally, I’d invite Gabe Newell, Managing Director of Valve. This may seem like a strange decision to many, but I’m a fan, and the effect of Valve Time would help to prolong this once-in-a-lifetime evening.

Where in the world would you most like to go?

The temperate rainforest of Canada’s western coast seems like a surreal place to visit. This is helped by the fact that it is home to a curious subspecies of black bear in which a tenth of the population is born with a white coat, resulting in what looks like a gigantic labrador (that could kill you).

Which celebrity do you most look like?

I have often been compared to Harry Potter in appearance. In fact, I’ve even had somebody who worked on the films call me out on it.

Still not entirely sure why though. Is it the owl or the glasses?

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

While on a field course in South Africa, my group was driving back to camp as it started to get dark. Along the way, we were treated to a spectacular African sunset featuring the silhouettes of four zebras and an Acacia tree – the kind you see in films. It was unforgettable.

What’s your favourite thing on ARKive?

It’s an image of some wild goats. Not just any wild goats, however. They are Chiltan wild goats, a Critically Endangered subspecies which can only be found in Pakistan.

Only one small population still exists. This was one of my first species on ARKive and the image itself was a quite hard to get hold of!

Tell us an animal related joke.

This actually called an anti-joke. I read it online:

“A horse walks into a bar. The bartender asks, ‘Why the long face?’ The horse does not respond because it is a horse. It can neither speak nor understand English. It is confused by its surroundings and gallops out of the bar, knocking over a few tables.”

  • Ben (February 18th, 2011 at 3:37 pm):

    Empire ftw! Valve ftw also! :)
    However, not sure that I’d put a chaffinch in a list of “heavyweights” with a great white!