Dr Rhys Jones

Dr Rhys Jones

Lecturer

School of Biosciences

I am a Cardiff University Lecturer, reptile specialist, environmental consultant, researcher and broadcaster for the BBC, The Smithsonian Channel, National Geographic and the Discovery Channel.  I have presented three series of the BBC One primetime network series "Rhys Jones's Wildlife Patrol", for which  I received a BAFTA nomination (Best Presenter) in 2014.  I presented two series of "Rhys To The Rescue" which aired on BBC Wales and subsequently on BBC Two network. In addition I presented on Sir David Attenborough's BBC "Saving Planet Earth" programme, one of a season of nature documentaries with a conservation theme, screened in 2007 to mark the 50th anniversary of its specialist factual department, the BBC Natural History Unit.

School roles

Admissions Officer - Biological Sciences

UCAS Open Day Officer - Biological Sciences

I completed my PhD on “British reptile conservation: phylogeography and translocation studies” in 2009. I conduct research and hold the position of Lecturer at School of Biosciences, Cardiff University.  I assisted and eventually lectured on the previous Tropical Ecology field course, Kenya, between 1997 and 2013. During this time, I worked closely with the Maasai communities of the Loita, Kenya and I have extensive experience of the ecology of East Africa.

I am a Principal ecologist, a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, a Member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management and a Chartered Environmentalist.

Television

Presenter and Scientific Advisor on "British Treasure, American Gold" currently showing in 23 countries across the globe on the Discovery Channel. The programme sees me teaming up with Jesse McClure of LA Storage Hunters fame to forensically investigate some of the historical items he recovers in the series.

Presenter and Scientific Advisor on "Top Ten Biggest Beasts Ever" currently showing on National Geographic Channel worldwide. Helping to resurrect and discover more about the biggest animals to ever reside on Earth.

Presenter and Scientific Advisor on "Biggest Beasts Ever", currently showing on the Smithsonian Channel across the United States of America.  Helping to bring the long-extinct Titanoboa back to life in a fascinating two-hour documentary.

Radio

The Science Show Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).  Here's my recent interview on Thylacines and other extraordinary sightings of fantastic beasts!

I provide a regular monthly wildlife update on the Lynn Bowles show, Radio Wales as well as regular interviews on BBC Radio 2 Drivetime, Radio 4's Inside Science and the Cerys Matthews show on BBC Radio 6 Music.

Recent articles

https://theconversation.com/in-defence-of-racer-snakes-the-demons-of-planet-earth-ii-theyre-only-after-a-meal-68514

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/in-defence-of-racer-snakes-the-demons-of-planet-earth-ii-a7409416.html

http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/tv-radio/2016/11/defence-planet-earth-iis-racer-snakes

Steve Backshall’s World tour: A Review

Keynote speeches

2017 Association of Science Education Annual Conference, "STEM Beyond the Classroom", National Museum Wales, Cardiff;

2017 British Association of Science Annual Conference, Brighton;

2017 Bee Well Cardiff Conference, School of Pharmacy, Cardiff University;

2016 and 2017  Wales Gene Park Annual Conferences;

2014 Natural Science Collections Association (NatSCA) International Conference, alongside Prof. Alice Roberts and Dr. Ben Garrod, Cardiff.

I specialise in Science communication. My lecturing responsibilities include delivering modules in Genetics, Evolution and Diversity (BI0002), Nutrition, Transport and Signalling (BI0004), Animal Diversity (BI2118), Welsh Ecological Field Course (BI2001), Dental - Blood and the immune system, and Assessing the Environment (BI3110).

I am currently putting together an East African field course and I also lecture on postgraduate courses for GW4, a consortium of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter universities.

PhD supervisors

  • Professor Mike Bruford
  • Professor Jo Cable (Cardiff University)

My PhD research bridged the disciplines of herpetology, parasitology and evolutionary biology.  I initially identified novel methods to both obtain non-invasively collected tissue to construct phylogeographies of all three of our British snake species, providing evidence that the British Adder occupied a niche in Britain during the last ice age. I also evaluated the success of reptile translocation programmes. This was accomplished by non-invasive sampling of slow worms and monitoring their gastro-intestinal parasite fauna over an 18 month period. This led to recommendations for optimal mitigation strategies and the discovery of a parasite species new to the UK that was affecting reptile populations.

I am a presenter and scientific adviser to various television and radio networks including the BBC, Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel and Smithsonian Channel.  My local engagement activities include:

Her Worship the Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan’s Official Environmental Advisor

International Ambassador for The Llandough Hospital Orchard Charity Project

Ambassador Wildlife Trusts Wales

Ambassador Techniquest

Welsh Libraries Reading Champion travelling to every Welsh county to communicate the love of reading for pleasure, knowledge building and self-improvement across all 23 Welsh Library hubs.