James borrell is a conservation scientist and science communicator, with a particular interest in how species adapt to changing climate.

A Year In Review…

Happy New Year!

Huge thanks to everyone who has followed this blog over the past twelve months, and I hope you’ll keep reading into 2012. It’s been a hugely exciting year, so here’s a run down of a few of the highlights:

Right back in February I was lucky enough to be selected as a candidate for the International Scott Centenary Expedition. The aim was to trek across Antarctica to the final resting place of Captain Scott, that great British hero. Being involved was brilliant, I met loads of interesting people, underwent training with the Royal Navy, chatted on the radio and had some nice people write about me. In between I went on a reccy up to Scotland, for the UK based Scott Centenary Sledge Pull. I’m very excited about the centenary, although in the end I wasn’t able to shoot for Antarctica, I’ll be writing a lot more about Captain Scott over the coming months.

This summer I spent a month leading on an expedition to the Peruvian Amazon. Our research is going to be published at the RGS in January, but the good news is that we found a huge amount of interesting wildlife, and in general, populations seem healthy in the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve. We couldn’t quite believe our luck when we saw the photo’s from our remote camera traps! With more hard work conservation in this area should go from strength to strength. You can read about the expedition here and here.

Two days before flying out to Peru, I also said goodbye to a dear friend, The University of Exeter. Here’s a few things I’ll miss about the place, and an explanation as to why I spent much of my final year working in a cupboard.

More recently I returned from South Africa, having been living and learning on a reserve out there. It’s a strange thing to see giraffe wander past the window or a Rhino standing in the road, I never did get used to it. Some of the most popular articles were 11 Things I’ve learned, In the footsteps of a Leopard and On Fences.

Now I’m enjoying being back in a festive (if a little chilly) England. Preparations, however, are well underway for the next expedition! On the 8th of January we’ll be heading out to Oman in search of the critically endangered Arabian Leopard, and it’s for this cause that I must ask for your help…

The data we plan collect is a small but important part of the work to protect this species, which numbers perhaps less than 200 individuals. But this pales to insignificance when compared to the role that you, the public, can play. With your support we can make a real difference, we can spread the word and help save the ghost of Arabia, before it slips to extinction. I hope that you might have the time to follow our progress on the Expedition Blog.

So in conclusion, thank you to everyone who has read this year. If you’ve enjoyed it then you might like to sign up to my Monthly Email Newsletter, it’ll have the best bits and recent news. Better yet, perhaps you could suggest this site to a friend or two who might enjoy it, I’d really appreciate the support.

Happy New Year and thanks for reading!

James Borrell

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