Having been brought up in the Welsh countryside surrounded by wildlife, the natural world has always intrigued me. In July 2009, I went on a Field Studies Council course with TV naturalist Nick Baker, who first introduced me to the magic of moth trapping. Shortly after this, I got my own light trap and began identifying moths in my garden.
As time progressed, I became involved with my local moth group and benefited greatly from the help and support of the Montgomeryshire county recorder, Peter Williams. As my knowledge of the common macro and micro moths developed, I began identifying more obscure micro moths through genitalia determination and looking for early stages.
I have been able to explore the county’s most under-recorded areas; producing tens of thousands of records and finding over 100 species new to the county in the process.
In 2013, I took over the role of county butterfly recorder for Montgomeryshire and set about increasing the number of records and coverage across the county, producing a digital atlas to highlight the most under-recorded areas.
I studied for my undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences at Brasenose College, Oxford, where I particularly enjoyed the ecology, evolution and conservation aspects of the course. For my final research project, I chose to explore the micro moth communities that live within bird nests (the research will be published in due course). I graduated with first-class honours in July 2017.
I continued my studies at Oxford with an MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management. In October 2018, I will embark on a NERC-funded PhD project researching the impacts of artificial light at night on moths. This will be a partnership between the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (where I will be based), Newcastle University and Butterfly Conservation.