Specialises in collections management; integrated pest management, including pest identification; historic insect collections and historic types
Responsibilities include staff line management, developing grant revenue, collections management and public engagement
Research interests centre on dung beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) biology, ecology, conservation and taxonomy
At the age of 15, Darren commenced his museum career as a volunteer at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry. After studying for a postgraduate diploma in Insect Taxonomy at Cardiff University, Darren joined the staff at National Museum Wales in Cardiff as an entomological researcher. In 1997 Darren began working in the Hope Entomological Collections as a technician, later becoming Collections Manager and Assistant Curator. After the amalgamation of the Zoology and Hope Entomology Collections, he took on the role of head of section. Darren has provided training in entomological collections management, integrated pest management, insect identification and entomological field sampling techniques for undergraduate and postgraduate students, the museum sector and wider.
Darren is the National Recording Scheme Organiser for the Scarabaeoidea (dung beetles, chafer and their allies). He is on the editorial panel for The Coleopterists, Entomologists Monthly Magazine and is a Royal Entomological Society Library Committee member. He was awarded the ZSL Silver Medal (2015).
Tropical dung beetle morphological traits predict functional traits and show intraspecific differences across land uses
Ecology and Evolution
Disappearance rate of chimpanzee scats: Implications for census work on Pan troglodytes
African Journal of Ecology
Designing oil palm landscapes to retain biodiversity using insights from a key ecological indicator group
<jats:p>Oil palm expansion threatens biodiverse ecosystems across the tropics. However, palm oil is a widely used and profitable crop, so identifying strategies that mitigate the impact of oil palm expansion on biodiversity is important. Riparian reserves (strips of forest along rivers) are protected in many countries for hydrological reasons and also support species that would not otherwise persist in oil palm. However, management guidelines for riparian zones have been informed by relatively few ecological studies. We assessed how the structural features and landscape context of riparian reserves in Sabah, Malaysia affected dung beetle communities. We also tested the use of flight intercept traps to study movement of dung beetles along linear forest corridors. Overall, dung beetle abundance in riparian reserves was 54% lower than in logged forest areas, but all species observed in the logged forest were found in at least one riparian reserve site and both species richness and diversity increased with reserve width. Distance from a large block of continuous forest affected dung beetle community composition but not species richness, abundance, or functional diversity. The amount of forest cover in the surrounding landscape improved the retention of species within riparian reserves, and increases in vegetation complexity corresponded with higher functional richness and functional dispersion. The flight intercept traps did not indicate that there is net movement of individuals out of logged forest areas into the riparian reserves. The species richness of 30 m reserves (the suggested requirement of reserves in Sabah) was only 10% lower than in logged forest, but our data indicate that riparian reserves of at least 50 to 80 m are needed for species richness and diversity to equal that in nearby logged forest. These findings, particularly if they apply more widely to forest-dependent taxa, should be taken into account when setting policy and sustainability guidelines for oil palm plantations, both in areas undergoing conversion from forest and in existing oil palm plantations where forest restoration is required.</jats:p>
A Review of the Status of the Beetles of Great Britain The Stag Beetles, Dor Beetles, Dung Beetles, Chafers and Their Allies - Lucanidae, Geotrupidae, Trogidae and Scarabaeidae
This report was commissioned to update the national threat status of beetles within the Lucanidae, Geotrupidae, Trogidae and Scarabaeidae. It covers all species in these groups, identifying those that are rare and/or under threat as well as non-threatened and non-native species.