Reducing the Powers of the Chief Minister. A Petition to Tynwald, July 2023

Tynwald Hill, 5th July 2019

I handed a petition for redress to the Clark of Tynwald at the foot of Tynwald Hill on Tynwald Day 2023. The relevant Tynwald committee has now declared this petition ‘in order’, meaning it is available for any member of Tynwald to pick up for action / debate. The first oppertunity for this to happen is October’s Tynwald sitting, 2023.

Read More

Visualising climate model ensemble outputs in D3.js

Recently I was tasked with prsenting data for future climates to a diverse user base (public, professional, and scientific). It took a lot of time to understand how best to summarise complex outputs of global climate models, and how to display this information in an easy to understand format to end users of our software.

Read More

Barcoding our Biodiversity


The huge variety of traits in fauna and flora became an obsession for seventeenth century colonial travellers, who catalogued and classified their new encounters, sending samples home to form large collections, such as those in the Oxford Museum of Natural History and Kew Gardens.

Read More

Isle of Man Population Projections: an Uncertainty Estimate

Douglas, Isle of Man

The Island’s housing need relies on accurate and up-to-date population statistics and projections. Government have committed to using the latest demographic information for the Area Plan process in the Strategic Plan. However, Government’s latest housing need figure does not take into account new observational data that was released as part of the 2016 census. Government’s population projections are also deterministic and do not therefore quantify uncertainty arising from assumptions about population change and measurement error in the Isle of Man datasets. It is desirable to quantify uncertainty to be sure that the precautionary principle is respected when used in land-use planning terms. The United Nations have adopted a Bayesian approach that applies hierarchical models to estimate Total Fertility Rate (TFR), life expectancy, and future populations, all with model uncertainty (Raftery et al 2014). This approach uses the same underlying intercensal compartment approach that is used in the official Isle of Man Government projections, but properly accounting for uncertainty. Here, I apply the latest UN method using the latest publicly available information to create population projections and show the bounds of uncertainty.

Read More

An Infinite Variety of Names

The common dandelion classified as one or tens of species, depending on who you ask. By Werner100359 (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons*

Despite a rich scientific heritage of environmental exploration and classification, we are still not much closer to understanding how many unique species populate our planet.

Read More

The Ancient Lake that Fertilises the Amazon

Dust from the Sahara makes its way towards America, June 2010. By Jeff Schmaltz (NASA Earth Observatory) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Amazon Rainforest is one of Earth’s most biodiverse locations, and recent evidence suggests that it is tightly coupled to one of the most barren. Using satellite observations, Saharan dust storms have been tracked across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and South America. A unique combination of geological and climatic drivers has created these conditions, which are hypothesised to transport essential nutrients to the Amazon.

Read More

Britain's Hidden Nitrogen Addiction

Spreading fertiliser

The British Isles are home to a group of farming nations. In the United Kingdom, approximately 77% of the total land area is used for farming, providing a substantial contribution to regional and global food security. Since the mid 19th century, increasing intensification of our agricultural system has led to a hugely important increase in food production, but also a dependency on inputs that is spiralling out of control.

Read More