Between 1987 and 1996 I was an occasional contributor to The Independent on science and the environment. Examples include articles on parasites of tropical crops and new methods for treating industrial wastes.

I also wrote a number of “Forum” articles for New Scientist during the two years that I spent working in Nigeria. These addressed the challenges facing scientists working in Africa, the state of academic publishing in Nigeria and the problems facing ecologists working in Africa.

In 1995 and 1996, I wrote a series of articles for The Times Higher Education Supplement on the first academic publications of well-known figures. Examples included Sir Roger Bannister, Enoch Powell and the then Archbishop of York John Hapgood.

My work has also been published in The Independent on Sunday, BBC Wildlife, New Statesman and Society and the now defunct magazine Environment Now.

Basil O'Saurus

From 2003 to 2012 I wrote a humorous column for In Practice, the magazine of the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management featuring a fictional Professor of Tauro-Scatology, called Basil O’Saurus. These took an irreverent view of the world of environmental management, covering topics such as health and safety, a riposte to the Environment Agency's Chief Executive referring to her technical staff as "anoraks" and the joys of new European Directives, a topic so close to my heart that it spilled over into a second installment.


A short story, a pastiche of a Raymond Chandler novel about some fairly nerdy aspects of the world of algae, appears in the Autumn 2009 issue of The Phycologist.


Since the start of 2013 I have been writing a blog, microscopes and monsters, reflections on the unfashionable end of biodiversity.