My interest in the environmental sciences developed whilst I was studying Biological Sciences as an undergraduate at Oxford University where I specialised in Environmental Sciences and Animal Sciences. I carried out a fieldwork project in my final year looking at the use of hedgerows by insects and spiders as distribution corridors between fragmented woodlands. This combined my interests in entomology, conservation and nature reserve design and a love for spending time in the countryside, especially in the summer! With a general interest in environmental sciences as a whole I was drawn towards working in science communication and publishing.
Soon after graduating I began working at CABI in their Primary Journals editorial group. In 2006 I was given the opportunity to use this experience and develop my interest in environmental sciences by moving to my current role as Content Editor in the Environmental Sciences team. In this role I enjoy keeping up to date with the current research in areas such as forestry, biodiversity and climate change, and communicating these developments to both the general public and the academic community through the blog, the database and its subsets, including editing Forestry Abstracts, Forest Science and Environmental Impact. I also coordinate the selection, production and validation of the Distribution Maps. This involves searching for distribution data and using this data to compile a visual map with supporting references, which is then checked by world experts. The maps are a valuable source of information on the worldwide distribution of pests (arthropods) and diseases (fungi, bacteria, viruses and nematodes) of economic or quarantine importance.
Motivated by the constant contact with current research I decided to return to studying in 2008 and I’m currently completing a 2 year part-time MSc in Ecology, Evolution & Conservation at Imperial College. I’ve spent the last two summers sampling and identifying ground beetles on bare ground patches at Brentmoor Heath, Surrey to explore the effect of patch size and habitat management on beetle communities. The hot sunny days standing on a heathland surrounded by silver studded blues, beautiful beetles and the sound of crickets has been worth all the hard work!