Ross Piper

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Ross Piper
Nationality British
Occupation
  • Zoologist
  • Entomologist
Website www.rosspiper.net

Ross Piper is a British zoologist, entomologist, explorer and populariser of these subjects.[1]

Biography[edit]

According to his website, Ross been fascinated by animals for as long as he can remember and they account for some of his earliest memories, notably early encounters with a violet ground beetle and the caterpillar of an elephant hawk moth.[2][3] This early interest led to a prize-winning, first class degree in zoology from Bangor University and a PhD in insect ecology from the University of Leeds. Ross has travelled widely in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Southeast Asia, ever searching for interesting and elusive beasts.[2] Although he has always had a soft-spot for the arthropods, the sheer diversity of animal forms and lifestyles is a continual source of fascination.[2] He is currently a visiting research fellow at the University of Leeds and a visiting fellow at the University of Essex. In 2015 he was awarded the Alumnus of the Year award by Bangor University and has since become a member of their alumni advisory board.[4][5] He is also a student mentor for the University of Leeds and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Current projects include more books, exploring insects as a source of novel pharmaceuticals and biomaterials [6][7] and planning further expeditions.

Science[edit]

Ross is very interested in communicating the staggering diversity of the animals as our understanding of the animals is massively biased towards the vertebrates even though they only make up a tiny proportion of the whole. This led to his latest book, the successful Animal Earth, which has so far been translated into German and Japanese.[8] This book is a cutting edge and completely unbiased exploration of animal diversity. For anyone with an interest in the natural world the humid tropics are unparalleled. Tropical forests are brimming with life, but we have only barely scratched the surface of understanding what lives in these places and how they interact. In documenting the arthropod life he finds during expeditions Ross contributes to our knowledge of these areas. In addition to these two broad areas Ross is also interested in the ecology of beetles and solitary wasps, how ecology, morphology and molecular data can be integrated to reveal the true complexity of animal diversity and the interactions between arthropod assemblages and agricultural landscapes. Ross' scientific publications are available on his website.

Exploration[edit]

Ross is always keen to stress how little we know about life on Earth, which is a continuing theme in his books and talks. His own contribution to addressing this is exploration, mostly in the tropics. During his time in Myanmar Ross explored and searched for insects in areas where few if any scientists had been before. Tamanthi Wildlife Reserve was one such place. The specimens from this forest have so far yielded a new genus and several new species.

Media[edit]

Ross is enthusiastic to share his fascination for the incredible living things that surround us with anyone who will listen. In terms of TV this has led to an expedition to Myanmar (Burma) with the BBC Natural History Unit as the on-screen entomologist the product of which was broadcast as the three part series – Wild Burma: Nature’s Lost Kingdom – on BBC 2.[9] Many of the clips from this series have become youtube hits, such as this encounter with some planthopper nymphs. Ross has also featured as a presenter/on-screen expert on the CBBC series, Wild (live and recorded segments), the Sky 1 series, Extreme Fears, Extreme Cures where he helped ten arachnophobes overcome their fear and I have recently done some filming as an on-screen expert for a World’s Weirdest Events. Ross has been invited to give talks around the world, including World Minds [10][11] and EG.[12][13] His work has been widely covered in the media and he has written opinion pieces for the BBC,[14] The Conversation[6] and Geographical.[7] Ross is also a keen macrophotographer.[15]

Books[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ross Piper". Amazon. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "Biography". Dr. Ross Piper. 2013-04-19. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  3. ^ "Animal Earth: exploring the hidden biodiversity of our planet". news.mongabay.com. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  4. ^ University, Bangor. "Ross Piper - Alumnus of the year, 2015 - Bangor University". www.bangor.ac.uk. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  5. ^ Bangor University (2015-07-22), Ross Piper - 2015 Alumnus of the Year, retrieved 2017-03-07 
  6. ^ a b Piper, Ross. "Drugs from bugs: the next blockbuster medicine could be lurking inside an insect". The Conversation. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  7. ^ a b Piper, Ross. "Saving bugs in the name of drugs - Geographical". Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  8. ^ Piper, Ross (2015-03-20). Animal Earth: The Amazing Diversity of Living Creatures (1 edition ed.). London: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 9780500291658. 
  9. ^ "Wild Burma: Nature's Lost Kingdom - BBC Four". BBC. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  10. ^ zurichminds (2015-12-01), Ross Piper: Forgotten Frontiers (2015 WORLD.MINDS), retrieved 2017-03-07 
  11. ^ "Landing page (from ZURICH.minds) – WORLD.MINDS". www.worldminds.com. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  12. ^ "What is EG?". EG Conference. 2016-08-04. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  13. ^ "Ross Piper, Zoologist (EG8)". EG Conference. 2015-06-22. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  14. ^ "Viewpoint: Why Burma's forests must be preserved". BBC News. 2013-11-28. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  15. ^ "Photography". Dr. Ross Piper. 2013-04-19. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  16. ^ Ross Piper (3 March 2011). Pests: A Guide to the World's Most Maligned, Yet Misunderstood Creatures. ABC-CLIO. pp. 283–. ISBN 978-0-313-38426-4. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 

External links[edit]