Author Archives: pbertner

About pbertner

Studied cell biology and genetics at UBC in Canada with a focus in microbiology. However, have gravitated more recently towards ecology and biodiversity. Have traveled the rainforests of Peru, Ecuador, Guyana, Malaysia, Brunei, and Thailand with plans to visit many more.

Once Upon an Odour

Once upon a time, the stink bug had no stink. It was simpler time, but the times were changing, and gradually they fell prey to the wolves of the rainforest; the owlflies, and wasps, spiders and centipedes. These bugs, they … Continue reading

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Le Petit Biologiste – Part I

Le Petit Biologiste The Little Biologist When I was six years old, I once saw a wonderful drawing in a book. It was book on the Amazon called “Lives lived”. It showed, amongst the rainforest leaves, sultry and green, an … Continue reading

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Maligned – A cockroach by any other name…

– “All I’m offering is the truth, nothing more. You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe, whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and … Continue reading

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Amblypygi

If it weren’t for the fact that these arachnids are utterly harmless and slightly more obscure than the mygalomorphs and scorpions, they would certainly occupy a distinguished position in the vanguard of nightmares’ creatures. However, to label them as a simple curiosity … Continue reading

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The Bolas spider

I am hoping to start a new monthly feature giving some background into my most interesting finds. So without further ado, here’s October’s instalment. Bolas spider During the day they are at rest and fairly unresponsive. Undoubtedly they possess an interesting physiognomy, … Continue reading

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Border skirmish

There was a moment’s hesitation whilst the border woman looked up from my forged vaccination card to size me up. “No…this doesn’t look right” she frowned, handing my certificate to another officer, who seconded her reservations. I had had to keep my … Continue reading

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Between two worlds

I gazed at the calendar and visualized the months gone by, tracing the path from where I lay, dozing in my hammock in the Rwandan rainforest, to where I’d begun some two months ago in the bustling capital of Dar … Continue reading

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