Probably no surprise I quite like forests, and ‘biodiversity’ (whatever that actually means), having grown up on a noisy smallholding in the muddy depths of the New Forest. Like many people, I don’t really like it when people cut forests down….but as I’ve grown up, wandered around the world a bit and learnt more (some insights I’ve recorded here), from some wonderful teachers along the way, I appreciate that there are many reasons why forests must fall. Though ‘must’ is often a perogative, not an absolute necessity, I realise now that the thoughts and feelings behind the chainsaw are the key factors that need to be considered if deforestation is to be understood and managed. I like to think of myself as an ecologist, and a tropical ecologist as much as my experience can stretch; but perhaps a conservation ecologist is most apt, with the conservation part reflecting the attempts in my work to consider the fundamental human component of every conservation story. One of my favourite quotes is that “conservation is the management of human behaviour” (Chan, 2008).
Until recently I’ve been based full-time at the University of Oxford as a postdoc (more details on my research), but I’m currently playing the role of Dr Satellite Swampy (Peat Subject Matter Expert) for Rezatec Ltd. working on a feasibility project funded by the ESA. My LinkedIn page gives some more background on what I’ve got up to to date, and here’s my CV.
One of my favourite pastimes is trying to figure out why people are, or aren’t interested in the environment. How can the disinterested be inspired to become environmental stewards? I’m trying to contribute through getting involved in environmental education whenever I can – something I feel very passionate about (though possibly an invalid approach to Pathways to Impact?). If something I muse about interests you, here is more info on how you can get muddy.
And what has and continues to inspire me? Here are some of my top sources:
– Jane Goodall and her wise solution to the challenges she sees to environmental stewardship today
– Sir David
– My Mum’s project
– One of the great many great projects belonging to my Dad
– Conservation Bytes – hugely refreshing, honest and wise words from the pragmatic conservation scientist, Prof. Corey Bradshaw
– Project Awesome – this gets me up and on my bike, three times a week, come rain or shine, before 6am, sometimes in a zebra outfit….without any sign of a grumble – join me and the inspiring others!