As an undergraduate at the university of Aberdeen I was one member of
a four man expedition to Trinidad. As far as I know we still hold the UK
record for a student expedition to be the furthest away from the location
we got funding to be.
We travelled across Venezuela before entering the Amazon rainforest along the Orinoco River. Well and truly bitten by the travel bug, not to mention hordes of Trinidadian black flies, I travelled to Costa Rica in 1995 after finishing my degree.
There I worked as a conservation volunteer for Steve and Paula Friedman of Genesis 2 Cloudforest Preserve. I undertook studies of seedling survival and growth rate in relation to soil and shade conditions in the genesis 2 reafforestation project.
Still in Costa Rica, but further north, I did some soil surveying at Ecolodge San Luis in the Monteverde area.
Following Costa Rica, I took a paid position as a Resident Naturalist at the Tambopata Jungle Lodge in South East Peru.
I made the contact through TReeS, The Tambopata Reserve Society, a London based NGO conserving the overwhelming biodiversity of the Tambopata Region.
Every day I was living a lifetime's ambition. I had the great fortune to see both jaguar and tapir en route to the Macaw Lick at the Tambopata Research Center.
I returned to the UK to undertake a M.Sc. at the University of Newcastle in 1996. The following summer I found myself climbing up the ancient and eroded slopes of central Tanzania.
Following the completion of my M.Sc., and narrowly missing out on a conservation job in Kenya, I returned to guiding in the Amazon, this time in Ecuador.
I spent the next four years as a bilingual naturalist guide at Sacha Lodge. I was spoiled with the biodiversity of the Napo Region- some of my top sightings, forgive me for boasting, were: Harpy Eagle, Anaconda, Giant Anteater, Giant Armadillo and Giant Otter.
The tremendous knowledge of the indigenous quichua guides inspired me to research the medicinal uses of the local flora. This painstaking process eventually culminated in a booklet covering the indigenous uses of plants of Sacha Lodge.
While I was minging my own business guiding i met the love of my life. Kristen and I met in July 1999 and continued a long, long distance relationship until I left Ecuador in 2001 so that we could be together.
I came to the USA in May 2002.