Conservation Scientist / Post-Doctoral Research Assistant
RSPB and University of Cambridge
Follow Tom on Twitter @tomfinch89
Involved with the BOU as:
BOU member since: 2012
Why are you a member of the BOU?
I first joined to make the most of the cheap conference rates for ECR members, but I stayed because of the community – corny, I know.
What would you say to anyone who is considering joining (or leaving!) the BOU?
The BOU are doing great things – for individual ornithologists as well as for the field in general. They deserve you support, and you’ll get theirs.
If you’ve attended a BOU conference, what did you get out of it?
I’ve attended several BOU conferences, as well as the last two EOU conferences, which the BOU supported. I get so much out of these events – they’re a great way to meet old friends / make new ones, and the ECR workshops are always useful. As I near the end of my PhD I’ve found BOU conferences especially useful for meeting potential future employers / collaborators. And they attract good ornithologists, so the talks are always good.
When did your interest in ornithology begin?
My family fed the garden birds, and I always took an interest in identifying them. We had some great holidays on Mull (and an amazing one in Canada) which cemented my interest in wildlife. But it wasn’t until my 2nd or 3rd year as an undergraduate that I realise I might be able to pursue a career researching wildlife – this is when I really got into ornithology.
What is your most memorable bird-y experience?
I’ll never forget watching auk chicks fledging from the cliffs of Skomer Island in Pembrokeshire. It was like being in an Attenborough film.
If you could visit anywhere in the world, that you haven’t yet been to, where would it be and why?
I’d like to spend a summer in the high Arctic hanging out on the tundra with some breeding waders