My first memory of a snake was at primary school. I was 9 years old and was introduced to a 16ft Burmese python. I have been hooked ever since. At the age of 14 I bought my first pet snake – a garter snake – to my surprise a purchase much encouraged by my parents. Little did they know what they had started! Next in the collection was to be a corn snake. Or so I thought. I returned home with a Californian kingsnake which had caught my attention. When the rest of them were out playing football … well, I was looking for the next snake!
10 years later… I found myself in the rainforests of Peru looking for reptiles. On our first day of surveying for a small research Project we had set up… we found the pit-viper – a western-striped forest pit viper ‘Bothriopsis bilineata smaragdina’ to be precise. My fate was sealed. I was on my way to becoming obsessed with viperids. In 2008, to celebrate my graduation, I travelled to the Western Ghats where I first met Gerry and Sandesh. The viper obsession was by now well and truly flourishing!
When I am not researching vipers I work for the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust in Dorset, UK and co-edit the ‘Herpetological Bulletin’ for the British Herpetological Society.