Blue-grey worm


Learning: David Jones – earthworm expert


Earthworm scientist,
Natural History Museum

David is the Museum's earthworm expert and one of the creators of the soil and earthworm survey. He has led many survey sessions, helped numerous people identify worms, and is the founder of the Earthworm Society of Britain. Put simply, if you want to know more about worms, David's your man.

Why are earthworms important?

Earthworms are the most important group in temperate soils. They keep the soil fertile and healthy.

What do you do?

There's lots of different aspects to my job. I will often be out talking to schools and naturalist groups about worms, why they are important and how to identify them. Some of the time I'm doing my own fieldwork and other times I'm in the office analysing results.

What are you trying to find out in the soil and earthworm survey?

Which species of earthworm are found in which soil, in which habitat and where in the country. The next step is then to ask why.

What have you discovered so far?

One interesting thing is that urban gardens have proved to be a biodiversity hotspot for earthworms, or in other words, they are home to many different earthworm species. We were expecting to find a higher species diversity in more rural areas. One explanation is the many different places in a garden that an earthworm can live, such as plant pots, lawns, compost heaps and so on.

What do you like about your job?

I love being outdoors, getting my fingers dirty and looking for creepy crawlies. I get paid to do my hobby!

 

Join the Earthworm Society

EarthwormDiscover the world of earthworms through training courses and events

 

Take part in the earthworm survey

Boys with earthworms

Look for earthworms and help scientists with valuable research.

 

 

See your earthworm pictures

Earthworm pictures

See all the earthworm pictures you've submitted to us so far. Get snapping and add your photos to the gallery.

 

OPAL soil research

OPAL Soil CentreLearn more about the research of the OPAL Soil Centre team.