For the past 25 years Mark Welch has worked as a professional research scientist in the Department of Earth Sciences at the Natural History Museum in London, studying the atomic-scale structure and properties of minerals. He has a PhD in geosciences from Edinburgh University and has held research fellowships at Edinburgh and Cambridge Universities. He taught crystallography in the Department of Earth Sciences at Cambridge University for 9 years. He lives in Ely, Cambridgeshire.
Mark has had an active interest in natural history since he was a boy in Dorset, where he roamed the heaths, woods, beaches and cliff-tops in search for birds and insects. When a teenager, he spent three successive summers as an assistant warden on Brownsea Island.
Mark has led many field trips in the UK as a geologist and naturalist, including Cornwall, East Anglia and northern Scotland. From 2012 to 2016 he was the Regional Representative for Cambridgeshire for the British Trust for Ornithology, which involved organising and supporting regular volunteer-based bird surveys.
He is currently involved in surveying bees and flies for a wide range of sites in East Anglia. He finds the biology and ecology of these insects fascinating and of wider significance for urgent issues relating to the health of insect pollinators in the UK in the face of ever-increasing agricultural intensification and land development.