University of Glasgow, UK
Involved with the BOU as:
Editor of IBIS
BOU member since: 1990
Most likely to be found . . .
. . . unfortunately at my desk, but various field sites (oak woodland or local gull colonies) when lucky enough to escape!
Why are you a member of the BOU?
It is very important and valuable with a membership to support the great work BOU carries out.
What is your role on the BOU committee on which you sit?
I am one of the Editors of IBIS and I sit on the IBIS Management Committee which discuss how we keep the journal in top form.
If you’ve attended a BOU conference, what did you get out of it?
BOU conferences are fantastically well organised and although themed they are always attended by a broad range of people to meet and there is always lots of interesting material for everybody.
When did your interest in ornithology begin?
When I started studying biology in my first year at university I wanted to see what is it really like to be a biologist and was lucky to get the chance to work initially 1 month in the Camargue with egrets and flamingos – the specialising in birds in my studies with no longer a question.
What is your most memorable bird-y experience?
I had many fantastic experiences working with birds and they are all very memorable. If I have to single out one particular one, this is probably my first field season here in the UK when I studied gulls on Walney Island in 1996. I did my PhD on Great Tits and we simply followed nest boxes. There were suddenly eggs and later chicks in the nest boxes but the parents and their behaviour were rather elusive. With gulls we were everyday in very direct contact (literally!) with the birds, and as we were surrounded by 10,000s of birds we could observe many rare behaviours including birds laying eggs etc.
What is your favourite outdoor place and why?
Our favourite outdoor place is our little bothy on the west coast of Scotland. It is about an hour of walking though bog from the nearest road directly at the sea shore and offers wonderful views on unspoilt nature. It is a great place to get away from civilisation and being able to completely relax.