Hello everyone, if you hadn't guessed it already my name is Steve. I graduated with a BSc in Zoology from Anglia Ruskin University, a MRes in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation from Imperial College London and a PhD in Biodiversity Management from the University of Kent. As you can probably tell, I am not not afraid to move around a little bit in order to try to make the most of the opportunities available to me. For my PhD, my research was primarily based around barred grass snake (Natrix helvetica) population ecology and the potential impacts of ophidiomycosis.
I am often asked how I got into what I do and the answer is simple - I just never grew up. I am always looking for new projects to get involved with, and finding ways to answer the questions that spontaneously pop into my head. I am one of those people that likes to be constantly busy and I will not shy away from a challenge! I am a very confident speaker and I love presenting at conferences about my research, and what I've been up to in the field (it is not all just jumping on snakes).
My passion for the natural world and tenacious attitude to conserving herpetofauna has opened a number of doors for me, some of which have seen me take on a number of responsibilities. For example, I'm the current Chairman of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Amphibian & Reptile Group (CPARG), where I help to organise and coordinate a number of amphibian and reptile projects around the county. This involves monitoring a number of populations, including non-native species such as the common midwife toad (Alytes obstetricans) and alpine newt (Ichthyosaura alpestris).
After I graduated from Anglia Ruskin University, I became an intern for the IUCN SSC Amphibian Red List Authority, focusing the red-listing of south-east Asian amphibians. Again this helped to open more doors for me and I recommend that anyone interested in zoology (or more specifically herpetology) explores the options available to them. The more varied and specialised your skill set becomes, the more in demand you will be. If I've got one piece of information for an avid herpetologists it is to do your best to be as unique as possible and get involved with whatever you can. It was about this time that I also honed my blogging skills at a site some of you may remember, The Wandering Herpetologist. Since then, I have been blogging as frequently as I can on both my own blog, and those other others.
It is easy to see where my passion lies and I hope that with my website that I'll be able to tie everything together in one place for you all to enjoy! I also hope to share my journey with you all as well as sharing my stories (via my blog) as well as my research.
As a researcher, I am a current member of a number of organisations such as the Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG), the International Varanid Interest Group (IVIG), and Royal Society of Biology. I am also a Fellow of both the Linnean Society of London and the Zoological Society of London.
Back in the UK, I am both the UK Conservation Officer and a Trustee for the British Herpetological Society (BHS). The British Herpetological Society was founded in 1947, being one of the oldest herpetological organisations in the world. I am immensely proud to be playing my part in helping to shape and guide it's future in our ever changing world! I am also a member of the Global Ranavirus Consortium and I'm looking forward to the opportunities it may bring, despite the fact my research doesn't currently focus on Ranaviruses.
There are a number of other organisations I am involved with in a volunteering capacity instead of an. One of them is as an Editor for the journal Reptiles & Amphibians, which specialises in the publication of natural history notes and the extension of distribution ranges of species, among other things. I am also on the Advisory Committee for Save The Snakes, a non-profit based in the US that works around the world to help conserve snakes and reduce conflict with people. Snakebite is one of the most neglected tropical diseases so I feel that this is a worthy cause, saving both the lives of snakes and humans alike! I was also once on the Task Force for SAVE THE FROGS!, another non-profit based in the US. It is probably clear that amphibians and reptiles are my passions, I'm happy to give up my spare time to help promote their conservation as well as undertaking direct action.