I’ve questioned whether Adventures in Conservation is quite the right title for my blog, since it’s not about a fantastic exploration of distant, exotic places, but more of a gentle ramble around my sleepy rural home. But, you see, I think of my experiences as an adventure, because when I recently gave up my day job after 15 years working as a vet, I had no clear idea of where I was headed, and I’m still finding that out. I began by enrolling in an online distance learning course with the University of Edinburgh a few years ago, and now I’m a PhD student at University of Hull, amongst other things.
The course programme at Edinburgh was Conservation Medicine, which is the practice of pursuing health for animals (including humans!) and their environment, in a truly holistic sense. I’ve always had an interest in wildlife, and spent a month in a wildlife rehabilitation centre in South Africa in 2006 (now that was a classical “adventure”, with wild hippos and lions and things – I’ll post about it someday!). By the time I’d finished my course in 2015, I realised that my interest is not just in wildlife, but in the interdependent health and wellbeing of all living things.
I’m now beginning a doctoral research project with the Centre for Systems Studies at the Hull University Business School, looking at the ways in which we value natural resources and ecosystems, particularly in towns and cities. I’m a member of the Otter Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, and I’ve recently published an article about the detection and reporting of an important disease of amphibians, in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases. My blog posts are based on any and all of these activities, but they are my own views only, and do not represent the views of any of the organisations with which I am associated.