The writer

Nicola Temple

I am a full time freelance writer with specialties in science and environment. I am the co-author of Sorting the Beef from the Bull: The Science of Food Fraud Forensics (Available 25 Feb 2016: Bloomsbury). My articles have appeared in The WalrusCOSMOS, and other newspapers and magazines in Canada, the US, the UK and Australia. I’m a regular blogger for the University of Bristol Botanic Garden and I was editor for the Cabot Institute’s Magazine for three years.

The scientist

Before writing professionally, I worked as a biologist in some of the most remote and beautiful places in the world. I walked among the grizzlies and wild salmon of Canada’s west coast and then moved to Australia where I explored the isolated coral cays east of the Great Barrier Reef. It was in these wild and challenging landscapes, somewhere between counting fish and tinkering with outboard engines, that I discovered a love of storytelling. I wanted to engage people, whether it was presenting the latest scientific evidence to policy-makers or telling school children what it feels like to walk in the footsteps of a grizzly bear.

The pond dweller

When I need to refuel, I return to nature. I always have. My childhood was spent wading in ponds after frogs and unsuspecting turtles. It’s what inspired me to become a biologist and work in conservation. It’s what continues to inspire me today to seek out new adventures with my family and friends.

The photographer

My pictures have been published alongside a number of my articles and in 2011 and 2012, my underwater photography was featured in the exhibit ‘Our Coral Sea: Our Ocean Paradise’, which toured the east coast of Australia. The exhibit was featured on Australian Geographic.

The details

I earned an MSc in biological sciences from the University of Victoria, Canada. I studied the hydrodynamic function of the adipose fin in salmonids, which involved watching a lot of videos of swimming fish…frame by painful frame! If you’re interested, here are the published findings: