FIRST LIFE

A word of warning: any palaeo friends (i.e. most people I know in Manchester) might want to stop reading now, as I’m about to reveal the extent of my ignorance when it comes to ancient life. I’ve always enjoyed the ichthyosaur section in the Natural History Museum as much as the next person, and noted with … More FIRST LIFE

THANK YOU

Back when I started Stripy Tapir, I wanted it to be a diary of sorts- an annotated field book and a place to look back on past adventures. I didn’t really have high expectations for it and hoped it would be able to stay afloat despite PhD work and intermittent lack of internet. Last Thursday, however, I … More THANK YOU

VEGUARY

Wait a minute Stafford, shouldn’t you have done this a month ago, when veganuary a thing? OK- let me explain. There is broad scientific consensus that animal agriculture is a major source of global greenhouse gas emissions. Headlines like the one below, from the Guardian a couple of weeks ago; are becoming frighteningly more common. The main culprit? … More VEGUARY

WINTER

I found myself in Canterbury during the brief flurry of snow we had last week, watching it fall from the window and wondering if my train journey back to Manchester would be delayed (and after crossing London on the way there during the tube strike, I really wasn’t in the mood for another ‘adventurous’ journey). It … More WINTER

EALAÍ

When I moved to Dublin to study for my Masters degree, one of the salient memories of my first commutes into the city was the glimpse of a sea of white as my bus crossed the grand canal at Rathmines. That sea, it turned out, was a large gathering of mute swans, congregating near a … More EALAÍ

AN ODE TO SALTICIDS

One of the highlights of this year’s Christmas viewing has been this gorgeous little video by Snake Buddies, featuring Jürgen Otto’s incredible footage of peacock spiders – anyone who isn’t acquainted with his work should immediately follow this link to his YouTube channel. While I don’t have anything remotely as impressive, I agree that salticids (aka jumping spiders) … More AN ODE TO SALTICIDS

SNOW MONKEY

I have a confession to make- up until last month, I really wasn’t much of a macaque person. I can’t put my finger on why exactly- but clearly I was missing something as photos of Japanese macaques almost invariably feature in Wildlife Photographer of the Year portfolios. This species, the most northerly of all primates, … More SNOW MONKEY

NARA

It’s coming up to two weeks since we got back from an incredible fortnight exploring Japan, and I think I deserve a thorough pat on the back for whittling down the thousands of photographs we took into these few- these lucky few- that reflect some of my favourite moments meeting some of the country’s most celebrated mammals and … More NARA

SILVER ISLAND

ISLA DE LA PLATA With my trusty wheelie suitcase once again on the living room floor in the process of being packed for our next adventure, I feel like I have a valid pass to reminisce about my last ‘holiday’ taken back in July this year. With a few days to spare while we were waiting for … More SILVER ISLAND

PLANT BLINDNESS

KEW GARDENS  As a scientist I read an awful lot of papers- some are tremendously boring, some interesting once you get past the wall of jargon, but the absolute best will make you think. I recently came across a paper published a couple of months ago in Conservation Biology intriguingly titled ‘Plant Blindness’. It turns out that conservation initiatives … More PLANT BLINDNESS