A Hot Box of Knowledge
Feb15

A Hot Box of Knowledge

I became a member of the Herpetological Association of Africa (HAA) almost a year ago now, and I can safely say it is one of the most worthwhile memberships I have. Founded in 1965 the HAA is dedicated to the study and conservation of African reptiles and amphibians. I have been working on my freshwater terrapin research here in South Africa for the past year. In that time I have constantly come across the surnames and research...

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Herpetofaunal Habitat Management in Cambridge
Feb14

Herpetofaunal Habitat Management in Cambridge

Winter is the time of year in the UK when most amphibian and reptile habitat management is done. This is the case for pond work if great crested newts (Triturus cristatus) are known to inhabit an area, in order to comply with legislation. In regards to the other species, winter is a good time to carry out work as you’re less likely to disturb them as they shouldn’t really be in the environment (in the case of ponds). As...

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A Nocturnal Hunt For The “Lions of the Ground”
Feb08

A Nocturnal Hunt For The “Lions of the Ground”

I hope a title like this has gained everyone’s attention! I had been in South Africa for nearly a month, and I won’t get to bogged down in all the details but so far the experience had been fantastic and rewarding in nearly every way! I admit it… this title is a play on words. In my time here so far I must admit I have seen none of “The big 5″(Lion, Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Black/White Rhino and Leopard)...

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Kids Books
Feb06

Kids Books

Last year I was contacted by a representative¬†from Bearport Publishing¬†that wanted to know if I’d be willing to serve as a herpetological consultant on two of their kids books. Of course, I said yes. Bearport Publishing focuses “on topics that appeal to young readers, such as animals, sports heroes, and scary places.” I consulted on two books in their See Them Grow series that currently features six different...

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Newt Mortalities On An Urban Cycle Path
Jan18

Newt Mortalities On An Urban Cycle Path

Recently a paper I co-authored with a colleague was published in The Herpetological Bulletin, regarding smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) mortalities on an urban cycle path in central Cambridge. It’s well known that roads can be detrimental to amphibian populations due to collisions with cars but this is the first time that amphibian mortalities have been reported due to collisions with bicycles. I thought I’d take the...

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It Pays To Have A Hard Shell
Jan04

It Pays To Have A Hard Shell

For my time here in South Africa, my main field site is the Ndumo Game Reserve. This place is truly incredible and I feel extremely privileged to have the opportunity to call this wonderful piece of wilderness my “workshop/office” for the next couple of years. On saying that, I feel a bit envious of the people who just get to visit it and explore it at leisure. After only visiting once, I have had to reconsider many of my...

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