James Borrell is a biodiversity scientist and science communicator researching how people and nature can adapt to environmental change.
Dragon Hunting in Oman
Sometimes science seems boring. It can be difficult to connect the apparently disparate effort in the field, to the long term goals and achievements. So part of the challenge for science is not just to generate good data or conclusions, but it’s to be interesting. For if it is interesting, people will become interested; then enthusiasm, enjoyment and adventure might follow.
Let me introduce Dragon Hunting. I’ll confess that a few months ago I would have lumped insects with the more ‘boring’ areas of field science (in favor of camera trapping for Leopard!). But after a few weeks hunting dragonflies in Oman, quite literally the deadly fighter jets of the insect world, I stand thoroughly corrected. I was introduced by a fellow scientist called Lawrence, he insisted to us all that as soon as you hold one in your hand he’ll have you convinced – and he was right. How rarely do we get to see creatures like this up close. How much more do we appreciate them this way, rather than when they whiz around our heads unnoticed. Here’s a pair of Omani Dragons, notice the harmless tiny yellow splodges behind the head – that’s how we mark each one we catch, so that we don’t count it again. I look forward to sharing the results!
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James is a highly acclaimed public speaker, delivering keynotes, lectures and debates to a wide range of audiences including students, the public, conservation practioners and scientists. Rather than further polarizing already divisive conservation topics, James aims to explain the complexity and nuance of conservation. What we choose to do over the next five decades, will profoundly influence the diversity of life on eath for the next 5 million years. It’s never been a more important, or more exciting time to be a conservationist.
“You had the audience hanging off your every word.”
“You gave a splendid talk – cogent, passionate, clear and compelling.”
Fellow of the Royal Society,
“Interesting, informative and pitched at exactly the right level for our students.”
Academic summer school
“It was refreshing to have a speaker who talked with such passion”