meriel in the desert

About Meriel

Hello and welcome. 

My name is Meriel and I’m a writer, photographer, artist and film-poet with a passion to protect and conserve wildlife and ecosystems. 

I really enjoy working with words and images and exploring the exciting ways they can come together. From cave art to TV documentary, the old and new stories we tell of the natural world, and what those stories reveal of their tellers, fascinates me. As a researcher, university lecturer and practitioner, the need to protect this incredible planet drives my life. I’m passionate about bringing the wide, wild world into focus and sharing it! 

My non-fiction writing and photography mean I’ve been lucky enough to travel with reindeer in Scandinavia, orphaned elephants in Africa and desert camels in Morocco. Fieldwork on all seven continents - from icy poles to steamy rainforests – has brought me close to some of the world’s most heart-stopping wildlife. But just as exciting and precious to our biodiversity are the animals and plants here at home. That a turtledove once shared my garden makes me super happy. But I’d be happier still if we could protect the turtle doves on their migrations and have a healthier habitat for them to return to in the UK .

My tiny Moorland cottage is often more animal refuge than studio. It’s been home to hedgehogs, a hare, jackdaws, pigeons, geese, a hen who thought she was a pup, several actual pups – including a wise, ancient Spanish rescue girlie, a pair of cheeky Chihuahuas and a Betsy-boo – who likes to sit on my shoulder as I write and ‘chatters’ in my ear if lunch is overdue. And then there are the rescue house-kitties, including Dr. Giuffie Baggins whose tireless desk-sitting during my studies earned him an honorary doctorate of his own. 

I love life, all life. One of my favourite words is ‘biophilia’ - the innate human instinct to connect with other living beings. Just as trees thrive in communities, I hope my writing helps encourage others to connect with this miraculous planet and fall a little more in love with its diversity everyday. 

When I’m not at work – and sometimes when I am - you’ll find me in the kitchen. I’ll be watching the sassy siskins on our window feeders, maybe stirring risotto made with some new herbs from the garden or trying (and failing) to joik! (It’s a thing – promise!) 

Thanks so much for dropping by.

 

-MOST recent work-

world of animals book

The World of Animals: An Illustrated Guide to the Wonders of the Wild

Why are flamingos pink? What's so surprising about a platypus' beak? And just what is a capybara?

This book takes young readers on a journey of discovery through the animal kingdom. The chapters are divided by continent with annotated, full-colour maps, demonstrating the extraordinary variety of the planet's animals - and showcasing many creatures that will be unfamiliar to many young readers.

Written with Dr. Michael Leach and illustrated by the wonderful Juanita Londoño-Gaviria.

Reading age: 8-12

February 2023

world of plants book

The World of Plants: An Illustrated Guide to the Wonders of the Wild

Brimming over with beautiful full-color illustrations, this volume presents a wonderful opportunity to discover lesser known plants and fungi from all over the world, and to see familiar plants and fungi in a whole new light.

Includes:

• Plants of the world

• Plants under threat

• How plants help people

• How to help plants and the planet

• Glossary of key terms

Written with Dr. Michael Leach and illustrated by Juanita Londoño-Gaviria.

Reading age: 8-12

February 2023

the bird book cover

The Bird Book: A curious compendium of 50 wild birds

Birding is one of the biggest trends of the last few years, and whether you live in a high-rise flat or a cabin in the woods, spending time in nature has proven benefits for our wellbeing. This pocket companion for the newbie birdwatcher will introduce you to 50 birds often seen in the UK and Europe.

Whether you spot birds on your commute, cycle rides or weekend adventures, this is a book for mindful nature lovers who want to look after our planet.

Written with vegan wildlife presenter and filmmaker Roxy Furman – Roxy the Zoologist – and illustrated by Nicola Howell Hawley.

May 2021

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