David Jones – earthworm expert

David Jones
Earthworm scientist,
Natural History Museum

David is the Museum's earthworm expert, one of the creators of the Soil and Earthworm Survey and 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 Earthworm Society

An earthworm on soilDiscover the world of earthworms through training courses and events


Take part in our survey

Boys with earthworms

Look for earthworms and help scientists with valuable research.