Head of Research, Scotland
RSPB Centre for Conservation Science
Involved with the BOU as:
Editor of IBIS
BOU member since: 1985
Most likely to be found . . .
. . . working out the next excuse to get to a Scottish island
Why are you a member of the BOU?
I first joined in the 1980s as an undergraduate hoping to find a career in some way connected with birds. Rather surprisingly, the plan worked – and I aim to be a lifelong supporter of BOU as a result.
What is your role on the BOU committee on which you sit?
I am a member of the senior editorial team of the BOU’s journal IBIS.
What do you enjoy most about your involvement with the BOU?
I thoroughly enjoy attending as many of the BOU’s annual conferences as I am able, as a way of keeping up to date with the latest and best in ornithology, and have played an editorial supporting role to IBIS for almost 15 years now, for exactly the same reason.
When did your interest in ornithology begin?
As a very young boy, leafing through the pages of the 1969 Reader’s Digest Guide to British Birds – the one with a Tawny Owl on the front – at my grandparents’ house in West Yorkshire. The book, including its distribution maps, enthralled me, and by the age of 8 or so, I was well and truly hooked.
What is your most memorable bird-y experience?
Can I have one that lasted two years? If so, then studying the dispersal of Dippers for two years at Edinburgh University in the 1990s. Perhaps the only time in my career when I have had the opportunity, time and freedom to truly immerse myself in the life of a study species. Wonderful.
What is your favourite outdoor place and why?
The machair of South Uist. The place to watch the sun set over the sea, surrounded by birds.