The following extract comes from an interview I did for mongabay (full interview can be seen here) where I was asked: How did you become interested in the solenodon and the hutia?

In September 2009, as I was coming towards the end of my doctorate, I began looking for a post that would combine and make use of both my research/science skills in addition to my other life skills (management, logistical, people, negotiation and diplomatic). I knew I did not want to go into a postdoc since I wanted my work to be in the context of achieving concrete results in the real world. The Darwin initiative funded project working for the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (DWCT) in collaboration with other organisations offered me just such an opportunity. I must admit, up to this point I had very little knowledge of these two species apart from the big solenodon news story that had been reported by various news media including the BBC and mongabay earlier in the year. When I started to do some background reading into both species I was amazed at how little work had been done previously. For such charismatic and unique species, our knowledge of their biology, ecology, behaviour and conservation status is remarkably limited.

You can find out a lot more about the work I am involved with in the Dominican Republic by going to the project website: The last survivors This website contains regularly updated blogs too.

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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - a selection on photos from Dominican Republic