My name is Keiron Derek Brown and my passion is biological recording.
Since an early age I have been fascinated with wildlife. I was lucky enough to grow up on the edge of a small town in Cumbria with wildlife all around me. As I went through school I realised I was more interested in the sciences and my love of the natural world pushed me towards studying Biology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
After a misspent youth in the hospitality sector and a number of voluntary forays into the conservation and ecology sector, I decided it was time that I followed the career path I wanted rather than the one I´d fallen on to. A lot of ecology courses, volunteer hours and job applications later I ended up working for the Bat Conservation Trust as a Bat Advice Officer. Part of this role included managing the dataset for Natural England volunteer bat roost visits and ensuring that they were sent to the local bat groups, local records centres and the National Biodiversity Network.
Since July 2010 I have also been a Volunteer Reserach Assistant for the Soil Biodiversity Group (SBG) at the Natural History Museum (London). Through this research group I´ve gained plenty of invertebrate field work experience (in the UK and Borneo), improved my knowledge of invertebrate taxonomy and developed my identification skills.
Through the SBG I also got to know most of the committee for the Earthworm Society of Britain (ESB). I joined the ESB committee in 2013 as Treasurer and slowly began getting involved with the National Earthworm Recording Scheme. I am now the Recording Officer for the ESB which involves delivering training courses, running the recording scheme and managing both the ESB and SBG earthworm datasets (which can now be found on the National Biodiversity Network Gateway).
I was recently co-opted to the Ecology &Entomology committee of the London Natural History Society. I’m keen to help LNHS build their social media presence and I created a Facebook page for them which continues to grow in followers and will hopefully lead to an increased awareness of the fantastic work undertaken by this historic organisation.
I have found the biological recording community to be a welcoming bunch, but it can be intimidating joining groups and societies when you feel your own knowledge pales in comparison to recorders that have a lifetime of knowledge. I decided to write a blog that explains how simple it is to get involved and was relevant to those with no recording experience, as well as those already recording wildlife. I hope you find my blog useful and welcome any comments.
I’m particularly excited about starting my new job in April 2016 for the Field Studies Council. I will be the project officer for the development of a new biological recording project bid: BioLinks. This will involve developing the recording networks in the South East and West Midlands of England for difficult-to-identify data dedicient species groups.
Keiron Derek Brown