Steve writes:

Hi Vincent,

You Tube just found this excellent interview/lecture for me, as a suggestion for something I would be interested in, and they were very right indeed! z

This introduction to fungal diseases and their evolution and effect on biodiversity, really is ‘ready to go’ as a starter for the TWiF addition to your public education channels that you’ve been looking for!  I was quite excited listening to it, as Mat Fisher sounds absolutely a perfect fit with your TWiX ecosystem services.  He sounds just right, reminding me of Nels: with a similar background, enthusiasm, and worldwide, broad spectrum, and right up to the minute interest in what is going on in his field, and its importance in the face of a changing climate, and the interconnectedness of all things, thanks to humanity’s incredible mobility making us catastrophic pandemisers of any emerging pathogen we happen to disturb, as we encroach on and consume ever more of the Earth’s biodiversity, no matter how well it has been hidden up until now.

It seems likely that Mat would jump at the opportunity to get involved with the TWiVosphere.  The only ‘problem’ I can envisage is that he is a perfect fit for any of your existing series, and all of your TWiXers will want to be regulars on TWiF too, so they will have to draw lots or fight it out!  

This particular lecture neatly ties in with the wildlife trade and species reservoir discovery aspects of the current pandemics of CoViD, white nose in bats, and chytrid diseases in amphibians that are an immediate threat to the large amphibian endemicity in the Americas, and so could become a TWiF first episode right off the peg.

Do get in touch with Mat Fisher, before some other channel ‘snaps him up’.  I feel sure he’s just what you have all been seeking in a new team member.

Many thanks for all you do,


In grey skied Luton, England, and just recovering from having had a flock of 5 sparrows materialise in my kitchen, with no apparent way of getting in!  They proved to find it much harder to get out than in–even perching right on an open window’s frame, but then flying back in rather than out.  More dumb than bumble bees in that respect!  Sadly, two had already knocked themselves out before I came down and found the rest hiding behind my racks of dried goods.  They are surprisingly colourful plumaged little ‘brown’ birds close up, but I would not want any more indoor visits, as it’s taken me a week to clear up all the white ‘poo’ spots on every surface, and to dismantle the cooker extractor ducting to see if they got in down it: they didn’t!  Luckily, it sounds like there are still plenty more chattering away in the eaves of my roof at the moment, but they were noticeably quiet for a couple of days after losing two of their flock.  How they got into a closed kitchen, short of quantum entanglement, I still have no idea!