My name is Phil Lewis I’m a Zoologist from the UK. I grew up in Liverpool England. My passion for wildlife started from a very young age, even further back than I can remember as my family tell me stories of me grabbing bees out of flowers to the dismay of my mum when I was only able to crawl. I grew up absolutely fascinated by insects, amphibians and reptiles. Growing up in England especially in a big city didn’t provide the diversity of wild animals I would of liked so keeping pets was a big part of my childhood and early adult life.
I got my first pet tarantula for my 8th birthday and by the age of 12 I was keeping a whole variety of exotic reptiles, amphibians, arachnids and insects which continued for over 20 years. As I grew older my interest levitated more towards research/conservation and eventually, photography.
In 2006 I graduated with an honours degree in Zoology from Liverpool John Moores university. During my degree in 2005 I got the opportunity to spend 2 months in Honduras, Central America as part of my honours project conducting research into some of the unique reptiles and amphibians of the cloud forests of Cusuco National Park as well as the widespread species of the lowland rainforest’s at the foothills of the Merendon mountains in an area called El Paraiso near the Guatemalan border.
After graduating I was given the opportunity to spend a further 2 months In Honduras working as a herpetologist for the same organisation after which I spent 1 month travelling around Belize and Guatemala. Spending those 5 months in Central America over 2 summers gave me the travelling bug.
I landed a full time job several months after graduating with the Liverpool Museum in the marine aquarium and bug house section. I worked there for 3 years and my job entailed a mixture of animal husbandry, education and research.
Maintaining the museums live collections took up most of our time but we were also actively involved in research projects such a tagging thorn back rays in in the Mersey estuary. I especially enjoyed raising awareness by delivering presentations in the museum theatre, at conferences and at national aquarium workshops on the perils that face amphibians world wide.
In September 2010 I quit my job to go travelling around South East Asia for 1 month and then travel around Australia for 2 years with the aim of securing permanent residency here. And it was here in Australia in Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory late December 2010 in the midst of the wet season that I met Nathan Litjens. Since then we have been on numerous expeditions photographing and filming wildlife.