Dr Rhys Jones

Dr Rhys Jones


School of Biosciences

I am a Cardiff University Lecturer, reptile specialist, environmental consultant, researcher and broadcaster.

Other roles

His 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

Recent public engagement activities




Steve Backshall’s World tour: A Review


Rhys completed his PhD on “British reptile conservation: phylogeography and translocation studies” in 2009. He researches and holds the position of Lecturer at Cardiff University 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). He also lectures within GW4 on post graduate courses.

Rhys is currently putting together an East African field course. He assisted and eventually lectured on the previous Tropical Ecology field course, Kenya, between 1997 and 2013. During this time, Rhys worked closely with the Maasai communities of the Loita, Kenya and has extensive experience of the ecology of East Africa.

He is a Principle 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.

He is the Wildlife Trusts Wales Ambassador and the Welsh Libraries Ambassador and Champion of reading.

Rhys is a BAFTA nominated Television and Radio presenter. His BBC television career includes two series of ‘Rhys to the Rescue’, and guest appearances in Chris Packham’s ‘Nature’s Calendar’ and Sir David Attenborough’s ‘Saving Planet Earth’.

Rhys’s Network Primetime BBC One television series ‘Rhys Jones’s Wildlife Patrol attracted an audience of 10 million viewers (~2.5 million per programme) across the UK, and ran for three series. He presented the Royal Welsh Show on BBC Wales between 2007-15.

Most recently Rhys has recorded documentaries for National Geographic, including ‘Top Ten Biggest Beasts Ever’, and Discovery Quest’s ‘British Treasure, American Gold’.

PhD supervisors

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

Rhys' PhD research bridged the disciplines of herpetology, parasitology and evolutionary biology.  He 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. He 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.