Mike

is a molecular ecologist – someone who studies the process of evolution as it occurs today, mainly through studying the genes that are inherited within populations of animals.
He is particularly interested in the genetics of endangered and domestic animals, so he works on species such as orang-utans, tigers and giant pandas in the tropics but also studies woolly farm animals such as mountain sheep and llamas and alpacas. He uses genetic information to try to unravel what has happened to these populations in the past, including the genetic effects of animals becoming domesticated or becoming rare (both are mostly due to Man’s influence!) and how to maintain them now and especially their genetic diversity, for the future, so they can adapt to problems such as climate change.
Mike does fieldwork in Borneo, China and various countries in tropical Africa to carry out is work on endangered species, and also works in the Andes of Peru.
He is a Professor in the School of Biosciences at Cardiff University, where his research lab is based and teaches students about molecular ecology and conservation biology. He also runs a field course in Borneo, which is stationed at the University’s field centre that opened in 2008.

When not working in the rainforest Mike spends his time following his hopeless football team (Cardiff City FC), trying to keep fit and playing his electric guitar very loudly.
Mike has recently been in the press with his work on giant pandas talking about why these unusal bears only eat bamboo!

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