On this episode Hannah and Tom welcome journalist, marine biologist and wildlife filmmaker, Dawood Qureshi (they/she), to hear all about their love of wildlife. From Ospreys to Dinosaurs, Bumblebees to Chocolate-chip Starfish, Dawood will share their passion for storytelling as a way to raise awareness for nature and what it’s like working for the BBC Natural History Unit.
Dawood is a storyteller, and passionately expresses that storytelling is one of the most effective ways we can communicate about wildlife, conservation and people. Through her work as a film-maker, journalist and researcher Dawood uses storytelling, and particularly through her love of writing, to get those important messages across to people, because who doesn’t love a good story?!
Dawood’s journey with wildlife started very young, exploring the urban wildlife of Central London, getting to grips with the small things like bees, butterflies and plants whilst exploring the cityscape. This grew their love of British wildlife, particularly advocating for species that inhabit our urban streets. A love for international wildlife also developed young, however this was ignited through watching programmes such as Springwatch and David Attenborough documentaries. Now working as a researcher for the BBC Natural History Unit, they reflect how surreal and amazing it is to be directly involved in projects to research wildlife and the environment for the BBC.
We hear about Dawood’s work as an Ambassador for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, raising awareness about the plight of these, and other, vitally important pollinators.
Representation is something Dawood advocates heavily for. They rightly see nature and wildlife as something for everyone to enjoy, and as a person of colour, who is trans and Muslim they didn’t grow up with the representation they needed. Welcoming people from all different upbringings, genders and religions is vital if we are to enable everyone to feel that nature is accessible and there for all, and indeed that anyone can work with wildlife or in conservation. This is reflected in Dawood’s work as Engagement Officer for A Focus on Nature, whose mission is to connect, support and inspire young people across the UK with an interest in nature and conservation, and provide a voice for the youth conservation movement.
We also continue our Matter of Fact Challenge, this time it is Best Pollinator. Will it be Hannah’s furry nectar-eater the Black and White-ruffed Lemur or Tom’s much-maligned underdog, the humble wasp? Vote for your favourite on our poll on Twitter or our Instagram stories!
We had a wonderful time chatting to Dawood, and we talked for so long that we will be continuing with a second part in our next episode! Follow Dawood on Instagram or Twitter, and find out more about her work on her website here.
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