Ecologist - Writer - Photographer

Hello and welcome


South Africa’s 70,000kg rhino horn stockpile must be burnt to prevent illegal trading; published in The Conversation.

The bii4africa dataset of faunal and floral population intactness estimates across Africa’s major land uses, research paper on biodiversity intactness published in Nature Scientific Data.

Farmed rhinos will soon ‘rewild’ the African savanna; published in The Conversation.


Why people are so obsessed with finding the Loch Ness Monster: Humans are hardwired to believe things that can't be explained, expert claims; quoted in Mail Online article by Jonathan Chadwick.

Loch Ness monster search party uses new tools to look for an old cryptid; quoted in PBS News Hour article by Bella Isaacs-Thomas.

Emperor Penguin Fears - Antarctic penguin deaths due to climate change - TRTWORLD interview.


Why we think that some extinct giant flying reptiles cared for their young; published in The Conversation.

Human-elephant conflict Kenya - TRTWORLD interview.

Project Tiger - tiger census India - TRTWORLD interview.

There are two northern white rhinos left, both females. Here’s how science hopes to save them from extinction; quoted in article by Helen Pilcher.

The Cost Of Saving Pandas; podcast interview with Benji Jones.

Primates colonised the Arctic during a period of ancient global warming – their fate offers a lesson as climate change speeds up; published in The Conversation.

A new plesiosaur, its ecological and evolutionary context, and the Loch Ness Monster, Blog.

Expert range maps of global mammal distributions harmonised to three taxonomic authorities; research paper on mammal mapping published in Journal of Biogeography.



RAY HARRYHAUSEN: TITAN OF CINEMA - Tribute to an Exhibition, Blog to mark the end of the RAY HARRYHAUSEN: TITAN OF CINEMA exhibition.

Elephant ivory: DNA analysis offers clearest insight yet into illegal trafficking networks; published in The Conversation.

Why are scientists hanging rhino upside-down from helicopters? Find out in Rhinos: scientists are hanging them upside-down from helicopters – here’s why; for The Conversation.

Scientific paper on activity patterns of Scottish mountain hare published in Ecology and Evolution: The diel activity pattern of mountain hare (Lepus timidus) on managed heather moorland in Scotland.

Grey squirrels: is birth control the solution to Britain’s invasive species problem? published in The Conversation.

My latest dinosaur Blog: Reimagining Baby Tyrannosaurs.

I pay tribute to Ray Harryhausen, creator of dinosaurs, skeletons, aliens & other creatures, in Monsters, movies, and biomechanics: Celebrating Ray Harryhausen, my article for The Conversation.

Dinosaur Blog: Death to Nanotyrannus! Long Live Tyrannosaurs!, marking the departure of the TYRANNOSAURS from the National Museum of Scotland, and reviewing latest salvos in the Nanotryannus debate.

Ray Harryhausen: Titan Of Cinema - Teaser photo gallery to mark opening of Ray Harryhausen: Titan Of Cinema exhibition at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern Two). #Harryhausen100

Living Planet interview for Deutsche Welle (DW), How panda conservation threatens biodiversity.

Interview (live) by TRTWORLD on giant panda conservation and implications for large carnivore conservation. Listen to audio @ Giant panda conservation is failing to revive the wider ecosystem - TRTWorld interview.

Giant panda conservation is failing to revive the wider ecosystem - published in The Conversation.

My first (and so far, only) podcast: The Ray Harryhausen Centenary Podcast, where I talk to fellow Ray Harryhausen fan, palaeontologist, palaeoartist, and pterosaur expert, Dr. Mark Witton. In addition, to celebrate centenary of Ray Harryhausen's birth, there is my Ray Harryhausen Tribute Blog, and The Ray Harryhausen Centenary Photo Quiz.

Research paper on striped hyena behavioural ecology published in Current Zoology: Social interactions in striped hyena inferred from camera trap data: is it more social than previously thought? Collaboration with Jonathan Tichon, Guy Rotem, Paul Ward and Orr Spiegel.

As Tyrannosaurs exhibition opens at the National Museum of Scotland, I consider what we know about Tyrannosaurs, and recent research that informs the Nanotyrannus debate.

My thoughts on the philosophy and legality of how we treat 'invasive' species Rescued Grey Squirrels to be killed under new law - but Britain's invasive problem runs much deeper - published in The Conversation. You can read an extended Blog version of the article that explores the ethical side in a bit more detail here.

Tyrannosaurus rex and the dinosaur teeth of Skye: Windows into the lives of dead dinos - Palaeocast republish my Blog inspired by the visit of Trix. the Tyrannosaurus rex, to the Hunterian Glasgow, and theropod dinosaur teeth from the Isle of Skye.

Walking in the Footsteps of Dinosaurs - Palaeocast republish my article from Earth Archives - with new images added.

The Loch Ness Monster is dead. Long live Nessie. Have scientists finally killed off the Loch Ness Monster? - published in The Conversation.

Dinosaur egg bonanza gives vital clues about prehistoric parenting - published in The Conversation, bringing palaeontology and behavioural ecology together - to re-imagine the lives of colonial-nesting egg laying dinosaurs. Also see my Blog, Dinosaur egg discovery reveals social lives of dinosaurs, that extends on The Conversation article with additional interpretation and images.

Hail Trix, one of the 3 most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons in the world. And I got to meet her, and her pathologies. Photos and my thoughts linking to recent discovery of theropod dinosaur teeth from the Isle of Skye @
Tyrannosaurus rex and the dinosaur teeth of Skye: Windows into the lives of dead dinos.

Evaluating the implications of death of Tam, the last Sumatran rhino in Malaysia, for The Conversation: Scientists race to save the Sumatran rhino as last male in Malaysia dies.

Quoted in Sunday Times ('Sunday' section) article, 28/04/19: The future is a grey area for much-maligned squirrel, by Nick Harding, p13, Country Matters. For the record, "I would prefer to see a more nuanced approach to licencing - allowing rescue and release of greys in areas where there are no red squirrels and no economic forestry concerns." You can read my grey squirrel article, In defence of the grey squirrel, Britain’s most unpopular invader for The Conversation, here.

Reviewing recent reports and events relevant to rhino and wildlife crime, my latest article for The Conversation for World Rhino Day 2018: Rhino horn must become a socially unacceptable product in Asia.

'Walking in the footsteps of dinosaurs' published by Earth Archives, Fossils and Evolution. I intend to post an Isle of Skye image gallery sometime - so please revisit in the coming days to see more photos of the site, and perhaps some more toy dinosaurs...

My analysis of Nature Communications paper regarding assisted reproductive technology applied to white rhino: Hybrid embryos raise hope of resurrecting northern white rhino – but what’s the point?, published by The Conversation.


This website features articles from my portfolios of research and nature writing, and wildlife, landscape, and travel photo images.

The Research section introduces my ecological research on banded mongooses, chimpanzees, grey mouse lemurs, social spiders, and South African game animals.

In the Magazine Articles+ section, you can view pdfs of popular science articles that I wrote for BBC Wildlife Magazine (Small is Beautiful; the Grey Mouse Lemur), BBC Knowledge Magazine (A Family Matter; the Grey Mouse Lemur), and Africa Geographic Magazine (When the Sun Goes Down; on camera trapping in South Africa), alongside pdf material on mongooses from mammal encyclopedia that I have contributed to, including link to IUCN banded mongoose species account, and recent online articles on primate conservation, civil war in banded mongooses, a different take on the grey squirrel, what the panda does (and doesn't) for ecosystem conservation, and numerous articles on rhino poaching and de-extinction for The Conversation. You will also find letters and images published in Outdoor Photography in this section. My most recent popular science articles are a Guest Blog for ReWildScotland on The Future of Scotland's Landscape, and articles on the dinosaur footprints of the Isle of Skye, one linking vandalism of dinosaur footprints on the Isle of Skye to cutting of protected areas in USA, the other considering how science enables us to re-imagine a past ecosystem, both in the Fossils and Evolution theme of Earth Archives.

Geographically, the nature images presented in the Photo Galleries hail from Madagascar and South Africa, with a suite of travel-themed galleries from Scotland. My images focus on capturing the beauty and awe that the natural world inspires (I am an Ecologist). I also have an interest in Scottish history, and I therefore indulge my passion for Scottish castles, among other things in additional galleries. The Photo Galleries also features images from a trip to Kerala, India, Colours of Kerala (India), and roadtrip with hiking in Croatia, Republika Hrvatska: Croatia.

Special galleries include the Rhino! gallery. I have added this gallery because rhinoceros are in trouble and in desperate need of conservation (or in need of desperate conservation). It would be a travesty for us to lose any of these largest and most iconic of the Planet’s mammals. We need to be aware of the issues and I hope that the Rhino! page contributes to that awareness. The gallery features images of white rhinoceros (Ceratotherum simum); which is currently enduring unsustainable population losses to poaching for rhino horn. I have been lucky enough to be up-close with rhino and my images aim to capture the character of these magnificent beasts.

The Camera Trap gallery features images of South African wildlife, including buffalo, roan, jackal and wildcat.

The Scotland Galleries feature portfolios focused on Scottish Wildlife, Landscapes, Travel, and Castles. In Scottish Wildlife, you will meet the natural heritage of Scotland; birds, mammals, insects, plants and flowers. Scottish Landscapes presents highlights of Scotland’s iconic scenery; hills, mountains, rivers, lochs, and the sea. The Scotland Travel portfolio features a selection of images from crofts to Highland cattle. The Scottish Castles portfolio tours some of our built heritage; medieval castles of the clans that continue to stand proud and fortresses that are slowly crumbling into the landscape over which they have stood for centuries. Scotland in Monochrome presents a potpourri from the nation in black and white photos. The Joppa Whale gallery features images of the Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) which recently washed up on Portobello Beach, Edinburgh and attracted a lot of public and media attention between beaching to post-mortem. The Ardnamurchan gallery features images of wildlife and landscape taken from this quietly beautiful area of north-west Scotland (Lochaber and the Lochaber Geopark). The Scotland Winter Wonderland portfolio presents photographs of snow, ice, and frost. The Scotland Galleries also feature a couple of galleries on the rarely but spectacularly flowering Amorphophallus plants at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

The Madagascar Wildlife gallery introduces photographs of some of the east African island’s unique and wondrous biodiversity; including lemurs, the fossa, exotic birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles.

The South Africa Wildlife gallery concentrates on images of the less famous members of the country’s game animals, where, amongst others, you can meet a mechanical knight (the armoured corn cricket), and the invisi-bok (steenbok).

The Animalia gallery features photographs taken in captivity. These images tend to be more artistic, or I use the opportunity to get a more intimate portrait of the subject animal.

I get even more artistic in the Abstracts gallery, where I aim to capture in a photo the atmosphere of a place or character of the subject in an interesting manner.

I've diversified the content of late, and you can now find photos from Prog (progressive rock) gigs in the Live Music Photo Gallery.

There is even The Sci-Fi Zone photo gallery where I post retouche (reprocessed) photos of some classic sci-fi TV.

Please enjoy the articles and photographs, and revisit the site. The website will be updated as regularly as I can manage, with new images and galleries added. See the News & Updates section. My (now sporadic) Blog features my thoughts on points of interest.

To see things in my head visit my Twitter feed.