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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Chronicling our disappearing world

Published: 9 July 2010
Jade Ford

Students collaborate in research on endangered species

Three students from the Schools of Biological Sciences and Civil Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton are working together to contribute to ARKive, a web-based resource of images and information that celebrates biodiversity and chronicles endangered species.

Jade Ford (pictured), Becky Casson and Caitlin McCormack seized their chance to research and write about animals in danger of extinction around the world after tutor Dr Chris Jackson of the School of Biological Sciences told them about the initiative. It is an initiative of Wildscreen, a charity working globally to promote an appreciation of biodiversity and nature through the power of wildlife imagery.

ARKive species - Dusky hopping mouse (Notomys fuscus) ARKive image - Dusky hopping mouse standing on hind legs

Jade, who is completing a BSc in Zoology at the School of Biological Sciences and plans to study at Masters level, researched the dusky hopping mouse, shown above, that lives in parts of Australia. Becky contributed information about the striped legless lizard (below left) from Australia and the long-haired owlet of Peru, and Caitlin wrote about the African marsh harrier (below right) and the Muscat mouse-tailed bat of eastern Arabia.

ARKive image - Striped legless lizard ARKive image - African marsh harrier

“ARKive has amazing images but it is also a scientifically-credible resource; we have used it in lectures,” says Jade. “We have enjoyed investigating the species allocated to us and discovered a lot about them.” Her contribution can be seen on

Becky, who is studying for a Masters degree in Environmental Science, is aiming for a career in conservation, Caitlin, is completing her third year of an Environmental Science degree and planning to study sustainable ecosystem management for a Masters.

Wildscreen patron Sir David Attenborough has supplied a video message to ARKive: “A vast treasury of wildlife images has been steadily accumulating over the past century, yet no one has known its full extent - or indeed its gaps - and no one has had a comprehensive way of gaining access to it. ARKive will put that right, and it will be an invaluable tool for all concerned with the well-being of the natural world.”

See more of the profiles at

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ARKive has amazing images but it is also a scientifically-credible resource. We have enjoyed investigating the species allocated to us and discovered a lot about them.

Jade Ford - Undergraduate researcher
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