I have been working as an independent consultant entomologist and ecologist for over 20 years. Projects and outputs have been wide-ranging in both subject matter and geographical location.
My surveys have been in both the private and public sectors, and encompassed general invertebrates, moths and/or butterflies, pest species, protected species, preliminary ecological assessments and ecological research projects.
Additional outputs have been advice on management, contributing to data analysis and interpretation, and attending planning inquiries.
I was fortunate enough in the early 2000s to be asked to contribute to Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland and ended up being co-author. This led to several further editions and other publications. At some point I would like to do more writing.
A number of my consultancy projects have resulted in formal publications including scientific papers. Examples of these, along with the books, are listed below.
Previously I worked mainly in ecological research and briefly in publishing, living in different parts of England and in Wales and Scotland, having graduated with an honours degree from The University of Aberdeen in 1985.
Employers included Oxford University, Rothamsted Insect Survey, RSPB, CEH and CABI.
I have been the County Moth Recorder for vice county 23 Oxfordshire for over 20 years. In that capacity I recently worked on a new website www.upperthamesmoths.co.uk, adding the commentaries to the species account pages.
I am also involved in another project in a voluntary capacity, helping to monitor the local colony of the WCA Schedule 5 legally protected Barberry Carpet, under my own Natural England survey licence .
I have had a keen interest in natural history since childhood, and in particular a passion for moths, but also other insects, birds, plants and other wildlife.
Townsend, M.C., Waring, P. and Lewington, R. 2019. Concise Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland, 2nd edition. Bloomsbury, London. 1st edition 2007.
Waring, P., Townsend, M.C. and Lewington, R. 2017. Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland, 3rd edition. Bloomsbury, London. 1st edition 2003, 2nd edition 2009.
Townsend, M.C., Clifton, J. and Goodey, B. 2010. British and Irish Moths: an illustrated guide to selected difficult species. Butterfly Conservation, Lulworth.
James, D.G. 2017. The Book of Caterpillars: a life-size guide to six hundred species from around the world. Ivy Press, London. (contributing author - 50 species).
Examples of other publications including published reports
Townsend, M.C. 2015. Report on Duke of Burgundy Butterfly Hamearis lucina (L.) survey on Salisbury Plain Training Area SSSI in 2015. Natural England report RP02329.
Merckx, T., Feber, R.E., Dulieu, R.L., Townsend, M.C., Parsons, M.S., Bourn, N.A.D., Riordan, P. and Macdonald, D.W., 2009. Effect of field margins on moths depends on species mobility: field-based evidence for landscape conservation. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Agriculture 129: 302-309.
Townsend, M.C. and Rosenthal, A. 2009. Report on 2008 monitoring of the Barberry Carpet Moth Pareulype berberata ([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775). Butterfly Conservation Report S09-05.
Townsend, M.C. 2008. Monitoring invertebrate features on SSSI - Silver-studded Blue Plebejus argus (L.) on the Great Orme. Contract Science 856, Countryside Commission for Wales.
Townsend, M.C. 2007. Barberry Carpet Pareulype berberata ([Denis & Schiffermüller]). Report on Barberry Berberis vulgaris survey in Gloucestershire. Butterfly Conservation report S07-20. Butterfly Conservation, Wareham.
Fuller, R. J., Norton, L. R., Feber, R. E., Johnson, P. J., Chamberlain, D. E., Joys, A. C., Mathews, F., Stuart, R. C., Townsend, M. C., Manley, W. J., Wolfe, M. S., Macdonald, D. W. and Firbank, L. G., 2005. Benefits of organic farming to biodiversity vary among taxa. Biology Letters 1: 431-434.
Townsend, M.C. 2002. A survey of the Buttoned Snout Hypena rostralis (Linnaeus, 1758) in the Oxford, Reading and Buckinghamshire Chilterns area in 2001. Butterfly Conservation Report S02-12. Butterfly Conservation, Wareham.
Townsend, M.C. 2000. A survey of moths at selected sites in Milton Keynes in 1999. Ecological Studies in Milton Keynes 141. Milton Keynes Parks Trust.