Coal Culture in the Land Down Under

This time last year I was boarding a plane to the great land down under; Australia. Fresh faced and keen I was moving a long, long way from home, off to cuddle some koalas and hide from deadly spiders. But I would soon be surprised to find that the drawbacks of OZ are not the number of creatures trying to kill you, but rather the overly consumerist society obsessed with material things and guided by the need for fuel. I aim to show you my highs and lows from the land down-under, as well as highlight how OZ is ‘fuelled’ by it’s relationship with the fossil fuel industry. Sunshine and Shopping
I loved Australia. You go to the beach whenever you want. You know it’s going to be blisteringly hot so everything is air conditioned. People take their time, they have fun. Perhaps my most quintessential Aussie memory was in visiting Bussleton Jetty, in Western Australia. It was early springtime, the water hadn’t quite hit summer scorcher levels, and yet children were diving off the jetty left and …

East Malaysia: Mulu

Flying over the rainforests of Borneo you would not be faulted for assuming that these 85,000 ha of dense tropics had never before been touched by mankind. It is only until you begin to descend that you become aware of the trees clearing. The tiny landing strip welcomes your tiny plane with a tremendous thud and you have arrived, Mulu World Heritage Area.
DAY 1 My trip to Mulu began, as many others do, with this breath-taking flight in. The only way in to the jungle is by air or by foot, and the later is rarely recommended. Stepping off the plane you are greeted by mountains on all sides, and, regardless of the season, a sticky humidity that will remain with you until you leave. Unfortunately for me, my trip also began with a slight panic as my flight had been delayed, and following some unforeseen circumstances and poor planning, I turned up for a four day tour with absolutely no idea what was going on. Fortunately, I was welcomed by a lovely lady who announced herself as the wife of …

Cute or Creepy: Top Southeast Asian Animals

Travelling around South-East Asia you get to see a bunch of mind-blowing things, from breath-taking landscapes to perspective changing culture. But as a biologist you can bet it is the local fauna that has me captivated! Imagine trudging through the dense Bornean rainforests, the air hot and humid, a chorus of wildlife buzzing all around, when a giant cloud-like butterfly glides gracefully above your head – more of a mirage than reality. It doesn’t flap its wings, instead it simply floats, levitating. After a day of hard work, you crawl into bed under your bug net, only to have a firefly rest inches from you, a tiny light in the pitch-black rainforest.
Southeast Asia is the place to be to see next-level wildlife, and today I bring to you my 10 favourite fauna friends that I made on my own travels. 
10. Old-World Porcupine (Hystricidae) Where to find: Throughout Europe, Africa and Eurasia. I met my porcupine friends when I was treking through the caves of Mulu National Park, and our guid…

AirCon Culture in Malaysia

Picture this. You've travelled for 14 hours on a plane from the UK. You have watched the last 5 years’ worth of Marvel movies back to back, you've drunk water from a sealed plastic cup and maybe, if you’re lucky, you squeezed in a couple hours sleep. And finally, you have arrived, having travelled a quarter of the way round the world and you can finally step foot on Malaysian soil.
And what’s the first thing you notice?
Oh boy, it is hot.

You start to sweat instantly, in fact there's no point worrying about sweat patches because you will be drenched within minutes no matter what you do. This is going to be a sticky couple of weeks.
And then you get into your air-conditioned taxi and forget all about it. 

Until you get out at your accommodation, and you are again met with a wall of heat. 'How do people tolerate this?' you think. You are reluctant to even pick up your bags in this heat, and you eyeball your emergency raincoat with disgust. Why would anyone willingly put o…