My name is Andy Arnell. I am lucky enough to be working as the Newly Appointed GIS and Data Officer, in ARC’s Bournemouth offices, and as such I look forward to working with our surveyors and volunteers and pushing forward our various species monitoring projects. I hope to advance the modeling and mapping of species distribution, whilst maintaining our vast records database and contributing to the wider aims of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation.
Like most people working in conservation I have always had a keen interest in the natural world. During my Zoology degree this became coupled with a fascination for Science. Since then I have had unforgettable experiences of studying animals in both Kenya and Thailand, but I have became increasingly aware that efforts need to be focused on conservation for future generations to be able to study these weird and wonderful species.
Recent advances in technology, such as the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS), have helped produce more accurate species distribution maps and therefore focus conservation efforts. During my Primate Conservation Masters thesis I was fortunate enough to be able to focus on using this type of GIS software to model rare species distributions, including many smaller non-primate species. Since then I have developed a fascination with the conservation of these smaller species, such as amphibians and reptiles that often receive less attention than larger mammals and birds.
Prior to my current appointment with ARC I was living with my girlfriend who teaches art in an international school in Austria. When the opportunity to work for ARC in my ideal role came up, I had to make the tough decision to return to the UK. I am now carrying out a particularly long-distance relationship, but the fascinating nature of the job is at least easing the blow.