Hi. Thanks for visiting. My name is Mike Shanahan and this little corner of cyberspace is where I will be setting up home and sharing some thoughts.
The blog will mostly focus on the environment — particularly climate change and biodiversity loss — and how we communicate about these issues.
I got interested in these subjects before I went to university and then spent a few years tramping around rainforests in Sarawak (Malaysian Borneo) and on a volcanic island off Papua New Guinea for my doctorate at the University of Leeds.
I was there to study the ecologically super-important fig trees (Ficus species) and the animals that eat their figs and disperse their seeds — hence the title of this blog.
After I left Leeds I worked on environmental and human rights projects in Asia and Latin America for the Environmental Justice Foundation — this included work on pesticide poisoning in Cambodia, bear farming in Vietnam and mangrove deforestation in Ecuador.
I then spent a couple of years as the news editor at SciDev.Net, and now work as the press officer for the International Institute for Environment and Development.
I have written as a freelancer (for The Economist, Nature, The Ecologist and the BBC and Guardian.co.uk websites) and have illustrated a biology book called Extraordinary Animals.
In my current role I helped to create the Climate Change Media Partnership and the Biodiversity Media Alliance, which both aim to boost the quality and quantity of media coverage of these issues worldwide.
I set up this blog during a month long sabbatical from IIED, during which I worked at the secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal.
You can find me on Twitter @shanahanmike