Benjamin Tapley graduated from the Department of Life Sciences at Roehampton in 2004 and is now the Curator of Herpetology at the Zoological Society of London. The focus of Benjamin's work is on the conservation of threatened amphibians.
Posted: 22 January 2018
After finishing his undergraduate degree, he completed his MSc in Conservation Biology and began his career as a keeper at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. He then gained further field experience by working on amphibian projects in the Western Ghats of India and Indonesia. In his current role, which he started in 2016, he works with a diverse range of reptiles and amphibians, participating in conservation projects that partner with teams and organisations across the globe.
Benjamin said “This role is my dream job. I always knew that I wanted to work in conservation, particularly with reptiles and amphibians. Roehampton helped me get where I am today because it built my confidence. I gained strong academic and scientific skills at Roehampton.”
One of the most rewarding career experiences Ben has had is mentoring amphibian EDGE (Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered) Fellows. The EDGE of Existence Programme aims to conserve highly threatened species that are evolutionarily distinct. The programme offers a two year Fellowship to early stage conservation biologists.
Benjamin said “I have been fortunate enough to mentor EDGE Fellows in China, India, Kenya and Mexico. I have long standing collaborations with many of our past Fellows and seeing what they have gone on to do as conservation biologists is truly inspirational.”
Benjamin has gained varied experience working with a variety of endangered species such as the world’s largest amphibian, the Chinese giant salamander. The Zoological Society of London and partners surveyed one hundred sites where the salamanders live. In this project, Ben helped to train teams across China in standardised protocols developed to locate salamanders, understand their conservation status, and identify any threats the species had for survival.
On advice for students Benjamin said “Get as much practical experience as possible; you can do this by volunteering. Network, join associations and groups relevant to your chosen field of interest and attend conferences and meetings. Disseminate your work and don’t be afraid to publish.”
The Department of Life Sciences offers outstanding undergraduate and postgraduate degrees including two new integrated Masters courses that combine Undergraduate and Masters-level study in Zoology or Biological Sciences.
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