I was slowly walking back to my hotel room, stepping carefully around snails with large, almost comical heads, and brightly coloured shells. They were the size of small rotund sparrows. It was 1.30 a.m., the end of another day in paradise. I was staying in a beautiful hotel with manicured verdant lawns that swept down to the white sand and clear warm waters of the Indian Ocean. It was now January and I was attending a sustainability conference in Mauritius to present my new research (of course, I saw and felt the irony of this).