Biography

I’m not sure I’ve done enough to merit a biography, but here’s one anyway.

Phyllostomus hastatus

I grew up in Aylesbury, a small market town in the county of Buckinghamshire, England. At the age of eleven I joined the then fledgeling North Bucks Bat Group). Early on I was allowed to catch and hold my first bat. I’ve never looked back.

My interest in bats was a defining feature of my teenage years, with much of the summer time spent surveying bats around my local countryside, learning different techniques and the various species to be found. Somewhat inevitably bats were the subject of a number of science projects at school. Becoming older, I began to take a more serious role in bat projects, for example serving as one of two Buckinghamshire coordinators for the Bat Conservation Trust Bechstein’s Project.

I began studying for my undergraduate degree in biological sciences at the University of Oxford in 2009. I enjoyed the variety of topics encountered during my degree, with evolution, ecology, animal behaviour and physiology and sensory ecology proving to be particular highlights. Bats also made an appearance at Oxford when I conduced by undergraduate research project on the social relationships of bats.

After graduating from Oxford, I was interested to experience the world outside of southern England. Once again bats had a major role to play with this, and so I moved to Canada to undertake a master’s degree researching the migration of bats across the Great Lakes, supervised by Brock Fenton. This is where I am right now.

In addition to bats, I like to know how things work. I have still not grown out of my habit of taking things apart to see how they work and – the six months it took me to repair some clockwork notwithstanding – have always managed to put them back together again. I have dabbled a bit with Arduino, and recently acquired a Raspberry Pi.

In my spare time, I am a keen cyclist, incorrigible climber and occasionally ride horses. I love puns and am trying to improve at crosswords.