2008 - present: OPAL Project Officer, Natural History Museum, London
2008: Temporary Seasonal Field Surveyor, Ecology Solutions
2004 - 2006: Assistant Curator of Natural History, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter
2007: MSc Biodiversity and Conservation
University of Leeds
2004: BSc Zoology (Hons)
University of Bristol
I work on a project called OPAL (Open Air Laboratories) which is an England-wide initiative inspiring people to spend more time outdoors exploring and studying their local environment. The museum is one of 15 organisations around the country that is taking part in OPAL. OPAL runs a series of national surveys that anyone can take part in, as well as local training courses, family activities and wildlife surveys.Visit the OPAL website
My role within OPAL is quite varied and includes:
1. supporting natural history societies, recording schemes and other wildlife groups to get involved with the project. I help the groups to develop identification guides and surveys (e.g. The Big Seaweed Search) and I also run a small grants scheme for wildlife groups to help them publicise themselves and get more people actively involved in their activities.
2. developing resources that help people to identify British wildlife, and explaining the importance of taxonomy (the science of naming and classifying living things).
3. running large-scale public events that encourage people to explore nature and discover their local wildlife. My favourite type of event is a BioBlitz – a 24 hour race against the clock where scientists, wildlife enthusiasts, students and other members of the public all work together to record as much wildlife as possible in a given area.
Left: To launch the OPAL Water Survey, we projected silhouettes of frogs on to Battersea Power Station in London!
Right: Children take part in The Big Seaweed Search at the Wembury Bioblitz 2009. © OPAL