Apparently, as a toddler growing up in South Africa I was found with a spilt bottle of orange juice playing with a nest of ants. Perhaps that’s where my fascination with all things wildlife began, though I’m not sure ants would still be top of my favourite animals list! I’ve since studied Zoology at the University of Liverpool and have also completed a PhD examining the impacts of climate change on freshwater ecosystems. I’ve been working as a media researcher at ARKive for around a year and a half now and love the challenge of tracking down images of elusive species that have never been seen on the internet before!
What are you currently working on?
At the moment I am contacting conservationists who have been awarded a grant from the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund in order to profile the endangered species they are working on, on ARKive. I’ve had some fantastic results including images of the bleeding toad, Tuamotu kingfisher and blue-throated macaw.
What animal skill would you most like to have?
Hmmm, perhaps being able to change colour like the giant cuttlefish would be a good one? A new outfit everyday at minimal cost!
Which three people would you invite to the ultimate dinner party?
Although I’m sure his diary is pretty full with all the other ARKive dinner parties he’s been invited to, Sir David Attenborough would definitely be top of my list. Sir Ranulph Fiennes would be a close second. He’d have some amazing adventures to talk about and, having seen him talk before, some hilarious stories to tell. And finally, Charles Darwin. I’d love to get his opinion on the way his theories have progressed through the years.
Where in the world would you most like to go?
I think I have a few extremes of nature I would like to tick off my list including visiting the emperor penguins in Antarctica and trekking in the Papua New Guinea rainforest in search of birds of paradise.
What are you most looking forward to doing this summer?
Aside from the promise of sunshine and cider festivals, I am definitely looking forward to having a go at making my own elder flower cordial. Delicious on its own or perhaps made into another of my favourite things, cake!
Which celebrity do you most look like?
Apparently Christina Ricci which earned me the nickname of Wednesday from the Adams family when I was at school. I’m not quite sure I had the same hair or ghoulish thoughts though…
What’s the best wildlife encounter you’ve ever had?
What’s your favourite thing on ARKive?
I think the birds of paradise are probably my favourite though I’m not sure I could pick just one! The sheer variety of feathers and courtship dances are amazing, from the curly tail feathers of Wilson’s bird-of-paradise to the flowing feathers and funky dance moves of the greater bird of paradise.
Tell us an animal related joke.
Q: Why do African elephants have Big Ears?
A: Because Noddy won’t pay the ransom