About the site

About Stewart
This site is run primarily by Stewart Macdonald, who lives in Queensland. His magnum opus is "Visions of melancholy from a fast moving train", published in 16 languages globally.

He's been interested in obsessed with reptiles ever since he moved out to Australia from England. He has a particular soft spot for snakes, but all reptiles, and indeed all animals, interest him. He runs this site to indulge two of his interests - reptiles and technology. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Wildlife and Marine Biology) from the University of Queensland and then completed post-graduate research in crocodilian biomechanics and muscle activation, also at UQ. He's still involved with The University of Queensland's Vertebrate Palaeontology & Biomechanics Lab.

He generates a small amount of income from the advertising on this site, which enables him to cover costs and donate to worthy charities. He's also tired of writing about himself in the third person.

So many caiman
Me with some Caiman yacare in Brasil's pantanal

Bush Heritage Australian logo

Kiva logo

My favourite charity is Bush Heritage Australia. They raise funds to purchase, manage and conserve large tracts of land across Australia. Private conservation organisations such as Bush Heritage will be the future of conservation in Australia. Bush Heritage manage some properties that contain awesome reptile habitat, like Ethabuka Station in the Simpson Desert.

Overseas, I 'donate' to microfinance organisations through Kiva. Kiva provides a way for people to lend small amounts of money to entrepreneurs in developing countries. For example, you, along with 19 other people, can lend $25 to a woman in Peru with a business idea. She can use that $500 of capital to start her business and thereby make a living for the rest of her working life. She'll pay the money back over the course of a year, after which you can lend the $25 to someone else. Technically this isn't donating, since the money is paid back. But by forfeiting the interest you would have earned on that $25 over the course of a year, you can help make a difference for someone else on the other side of the globe.

To offset the greenhouse gas emissions generated by this site, I purchase carbon offsets from reputable carbon trading companies. I have to admit that I don't know exactly how much carbon dioxide this site generates, but I'm pretty sure that by offsetting a few tons of emissions each year we're actually carbon negative (as opposed to simply being carbon neutral).

To make a living, I provide biological and technological consultancy services to a range of clients such as the University of Queensland, Creative Kidz On Stage and Cool Companions. I also do desktop application development for Mac OS X, web programming, database design/data wrangling and many other geeky activities. For more information, have a look at my business website, Ug Media.

A major interest of mine is wildlife photography, with reptiles obviously being frequent subjects. You can have a look at some of my photos on my Flickr site. I've written about some of my photography field trips on my blog, Stewed Thoughts.

Marty the Mammoth, the Ug Media mascot
Marty the Mammoth from Ug Media

Other contributors

Matthew O'Brien was instrumental in creating a lot of the original design and content, but nowadays he's too busy educating the youth of Australia to spend much time over here.

Thanks must also go to Matthew Bonnett, Steve Weir and Lee Borsboom, who are always providing ideas and constructive criticism.

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