I work as an entomological curator and researcher, currently based in Suriname (South America). My primary interests are in the taxonomy, systematics, ecology and faunistics of scarab beetles, but I also have a wide-ranging interest in other beetle families too. For several years I have focussed on the Neotropical fauna, but I am also seriously interested in the Palaearctic. I first started collecting beetles (it has always been beetles!) when I was about 7 or 8 years old. Back then I lived in Brazil and I was taken along on collecting trips with my dad in the Atlantic forest, the caatinga and the cerrado. I have been collecting ever since. I spent my teenage years growing up in the deserts and mountains of the United Arab Emirates and Oman, whose insect fauna was almost entirely unkown, so new discoveries were made on each and every trip. There I became more seriously interested in entomology. However for reasons unknown to me now, I did not study entomology at University (probably because I was not aware of possible careers at the time), and instead made the decidedly misguided decision to study biomedical sciences albeit with a specialisation in parasitology. Following this I spent several years working in England and spent all my spare time and entire summers frantically collecting around Europe! I fell in love with the Mediterranean and with the mountains of southern Europe as well as the cultures, cuisine and languages. I decided to pursue a career in entomology and completed the Master’s degree in taxonomy and biodiversity at Imperial College London before being offered a position in the prestigious Department of Entomology at the Natural History Museum, London. I worked for more than two years there as one of the curators of their incredible collection of beetles (some 22,000 drawers at least!). The collection is both a historical and scientific marvel, and I was fortunate to gain valuable experience in all manner of entomological activities there. It was my privilage to be partly responsible for such important specimens as those collected by Charles Darwin, Henry Walter Bates and Alfred Russel Wallace, all of whom were ardent beetle collectors and outstanding scholars. In March 2009 I made the move to the Amazonian country of Suriname to take up a position as curator of invertebrates at the National collection, where I undertake rsearch into the Surinamese fauna and help enhance the collections. The main reason I have decided to start this blog is to document my entomological activities in Suriname. It is often that I get asked ‘why do you collect bugs’ and although I cannot answer that question simply, fundamentally it is because I am passionate about the natural world. Collecting insects brings me closer to some of the most stunningly beautiful and scientifically interesting parts of our planet.

Apart from entomology and natural history, my main other interests are music (electric guitar) and aviation. I also enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and snowboarding.

Conrad and Megasoma actaeon

Conrad and Megasoma actaeon

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