My name is Keiron Derek Brown and my passion is biological recording, with a focus on invertebrates. I’ve created this website to act as a guidance and reference tool for naturalists interested in biological recording. Below is my background info.
Since an early age I have been fascinated with wildlife. I was lucky enough to grow up on the edge of a small town in Cumbria with wildlife all around me. As I went through school I realised I was more interested in the sciences and my love of the natural world pushed me towards studying Biology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
After a misspent youth in the hospitality sector and a number of voluntary forays into the conservation and ecology sector, I decided it was time that I followed the career path I wanted rather than the one I’d fallen in to. This started with 7 years working on the National Bat Helpline for the Bat Conservation Trust.
For seven years I was a Volunteer Research Assistant with the Soil Biodiversity Group (SBG) at the Natural History Museum (London).
Through this research group I gained plenty of invertebrate field work experience (both in the UK and Borneo), improved my knowledge of invertebrate taxonomy and developed my identification skills.
I ❤ Earthworms
Anyone that knows me, knows that my first and formeost interest is earthworms. I became a Trustee for the Earthworm Society of Britain (ESB) in 2013 following my NHM work on earthworms. I am registered as the National Recorder for Earthworms with the Biological Records Centre and organise the National Earthworm Recording Scheme (NERS). While in this role I have:
- designed the recording scheme guidance (see the Earthworm Recorders Handbook)
- worked with iRecord to set up earthworm and soil pit survey Species Group Forms and created the the NERS iRecord Activity.
- designed and implemented the earthworm data-flow pathway, with all earthworm data being made publicly available through the NBN Atlas and GBIF.
- delivered many earthworm ecology and identification courses, lectures and conference presentations as an ESB Tutor.
Recording London’s Wildlife
In early 2016 I joined the London Natural History Society (LNHS), where I’ve held a number of voluntary positions (including 3 years as a Trustee). In January 2020 I took on the role of Chair of the Ecology & Entomology section of the society, where I see my role as supporting and improving the recording of invertebrates, mammals and herptiles. My work with LNHS has including:
- creating the LNHS iRecord activity and disseminating records to the LNHS species group recorders.
- setting up and hosting the LNHS virtual talks programme.
- managing a website restructure project and acting as content editor for the News section of the LNHS website.
- reviewing the biological recording processes (ongoing) and creating guidance web pages for naturalists.
FSC BioLinks Project
In April 2016 the Field Studies Council recruited me to develop their FSC BioLinks project and apply for a £1.2 million National Lottery Heritage Fund grant. Our proposed project plan focused on developing the recording and identification skills of new and existing biological recorders for a number of difficult-to-identify and under-recorded invertebrate groups. The bid was successful and the project was officially launched in November 2017, with me in post as Project Manager until January 2023. During the project I have:
- produced and published a detailed consultation report.
- designed a structured ID training programme.
- organised and delivered the extensive FSC BioLinks training programme, including place-based and online training courses, volunteer lab days, field recorder days, virtual talks and biological recording conferences (both in-person and online).
- personally created and delivered training courses on various natural history subjects, including terrestrial invertebrates, earthworms, invertebrate collections, iRecord and natural history tutor training.
- overseen digital development projects to support and benefit the biological recording community, including FSC Identikit Toolkit v2, QGIS Plugin for Biological Recording v3, Natural History Course Finder (ongoing) and the Digital Species Atlas Toolkit (ongoing).