Well, as Samwise Gamgee would say, I’m back. As I explained in my last post- way back at the beginning of July- these past few months have involved a lot of time away travelling and working in Ecuador and Colombia. I’ve been over high paramo, to steaming jungles, to remote islands, and to the heady … More PAHUMA


Heavens- it’s been a while, hasn’t it? As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I’ve had to put my blog on the back-burner for the past couple of months. May, June and July featured both my PhD thesis deadline and the opportunity to demonstrate on Manchester’s Tropical Ecology field course; a double-whammy that has seen most … More LIFE, LATELY


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


Here I am on another plane, writing blog posts when I should really be planning how I’m going to be spending my next few days in primatology nirvana. We’re on our way to Chicago for the joint meeting of the International Primatological Society and American Society of Primatologists (ooh err), the program is 82 pages … More ARMY ANT


So, as promised, here is something to counter all of last week’s eight-legged offerings (not that spiders can’t be adorable in their own right). There are lots of different species belonging to Phyllomedusa, but they all look like they have been plucked straight from the pages of a children’s book and deposited into the jungle … More PHYLLOMEDUSA


‘South America is the home of some of the strangest, some of the loveliest and some of the most horrifying animals in the world’. So reads the first sentence of David Attenborough’s Zoo Quest books, which I would highly recommend you try and get your hands on (they’ve been out of print for a good … More NIGHT WALK


Well, I’m back. And not counting an outbreak of V&D that took out most of the field course for a couple of days (now affectionately referred to as the vompocalypse), I have had an awesome month away. Ecuador is famous for having an incredible diversity of habitats despite its small size- and though I still … More MONKEY FACE


Field season is here again! For the next month I’ll be back in the jungle, demonstrating on Manchester University’s tropical ecology field course. The internet connection is, at best, going to be intermittent, but you can’t really complain about such things when you are in one of the most biodiverse places on earth. We’ll be spending … More GONE TO ECUADOR


It’s now under a month until I head off to Ecuador for Manchester’s Tropical Ecology field course, and I’ve been pulling out my field gear to check everything’s in order. Demonstrating on field courses can sometimes get pretty stressful- between praying that your chosen project species will be having a good year and hasn’t chosen … More MANTIS


I’ve spent most of this week tucked up on the sofa with a cold, so sadly haven’t been up to much exploring. A sunday afternoon binging on Modern Family however gave me the time to delve into the archives and share these pictures (and video!) of what is surely the most badass of all insects, … More SPIDER HUNTER