Claire is a science writer, blogger, comedian, performer and occasional wildlife photographer. She thinks ants are way cooler than people.
She did a PhD studying giant ant behaviour, during which she spent 3 months living in a farmhouse full of (very obliging) fruit bats, raised colonies of giant ants in the lab, and glued tiny radio-transmitters to their backs. All in the name of science, of course.
Her PhD thesis title, “The Dynamics of Reproductive Dominance in Dinosaur Ants”, disproved the popular theory that scientists can’t also be poets.
Claire appeared on screen in BBC4’s Planet Ant documentary, where she glued some more radio transmitters on some slightly smaller ants, and definitely was in no way responsible for anyone’s finger being bitten by a soldier ant.
She’s performed science comedy for BrightClub, Science Showoff, Animal Showoff, the Ugly Animal Preservation Society and The Variables Present and has entertained audiences at Green Man Festival and Wilderness Festival, at the Bloomsbury Theatre, and at pubs in London, Cambridge, and Manchester. She likes to talk about evolution, animal behaviour, and especially insects.
Claire is also passionate about conservation and sustainability, and was recently interviewed by Irish radio show Newstalk on wildfire ecology.
She has written for a variety of popular science outlets including New Scientist, ScienceNOW, BBC Earth, The Scientist, Mongabay, Nature Research Highlights, and How We Get to Next, on topics ranging from animal physiology to renewable energy, and even asteroid mining. She has also written chapters and consulted on popular science books for adults and children.
She appeared as a panel speaker on different mediums of communication at the British Science Association’s SciComm Primer, and teaches popular writing to PhD students as part of her role at the London NERC DTP.
She particularly likes writing about science with the pressure of a 140-character limit, and occasionally gets to do fun things like guest-curating @Biotweeps!
She writes the Curious Meerkat blog, which covers everything and anything sciencey she finds interesting, including, but not limited to: evolution, genetics, animal behaviour, conservation, sustainability, biotechnology, health and medicine, as well as debunking crazy theories or the occasional Hollywood movie. She has also blogged for The Naked Scientists and Nature SpotOn.