PhD student, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary.
James is a conservation biologist with a passion for expeditions and adventure having been involved in projects ranging from Lapland to the Amazon. His PhD is currently focused on the effects of habitat fragmentation on rare tree species in the Scottish Highlands. When at home, James regularly speaks in schools to inspire and engage young people in the joys of fieldwork and is currently promoting a Year of Citizen Science. He's also created a collection of interviews from field scientists on the challenges of working in remote locatios -well worth browsing.
In early 2012 I embarked on an expedition to the little known Dhofar Mountains, Oman, as chief scientist with the British Exploring Society. As well as collecting biodiversity data on a wonderfully diverse range of wildlife, we had the ambitious and rather unrealistic goal of photographing the critically endangered Arabian Leopard; a subspecies thought to number less than 250 individuals scattered across the vastness of Arabia. This lecture tells the story of our search, the challenges of working in the mountains and deserts, and the unexpected politics of conservation. For how much longer can the Arabian Leopard survive?