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Meet . . . our Engagement Committee

Dr Hugh Wright

Chair
also
Equality & Working Group member
 
Hugh works for the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) specialising in the science that underpins Marine Protected Area policy, both in the UK and in the UK Overseas Territories. While Hugh’s work is now largely marine focussed his educational background was in broader conservation ecology and geography. Hugh completed a PhD at the University of East Anglia on the conservation ecology of the Critically Endangered White-shouldered Ibis in rural Cambodia. Hugh is a trained seabird surveyor, a keen birder, and enjoys discovering the variety of wildlife found at the fen-edge in north Cambridgeshire.

Hugh has been involved with the BOU since his PhD days and currently chairs the Engagement Committee, overseeing the development of BOU’s engagement activities with members and the wider ornithological community. Before this, Hugh was the first Early Career representative on the Meetings Committee and then BOU Council, helping to establish the range of oppportunities that the BOU now offers to students and ornithologists beginning their careers. Recently, Hugh has helped to introduce measures to improve the inclusiveness and transparency of the BOU, moving the BOU towards its goal of ensuring equality and diversity across all of its activities.
 

Dr Lynda Donaldson


Lynda currently works in the Conservation Evidence team at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) based at Slimbridge. Her research is primarily based on species recovery, with a particular focus on translocation science. She completed her PhD at the University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus in 2017, which used birds endemic to papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) swamps in East Africa as a model system to explore conservation prioritization in fragmented landscapes, and identify conservation solutions that work for both biodiversity and local livelihoods. Prior to this, Lynda worked as a Research Assistant in the science team at BirdLife International in Cambridge. Over the years, she has worked on a variety of projects in the UK and abroad, including engagement roles with the RSPB and Glasgow Science Centre.

Lynda still loves to travel at any opportunity and keep active in the outdoors. She is also a Trustee and Communications Officer for the African Bird Club. She joined the BOU’s Engagement Committee in 2018.
 
Follow Lynda on Twitter @donaldsonlynda1
 

Steve Dudley

Chief Operations Officer
also
Equality & Working Group member
 
Steve has worked in and around ornithology, and in particular science communication, since 1985. He started life as an RSPB reserves engagement officer before moving to the BTO (membership development officer) and then, in 1997, appointed as the BOU’s as senior staff member to run the day to day operations of Union.

His role is very varied and means he has his fingers in most BOU pies including delivering all BOU conferences and events, running the business side of the BOU’s journal, IBIS, website development and content management and servicing BOU Council and its five Standing Committees. With a long-standing passion for communication, Steve undertakes all the BOU’s comms and social media (including the development of the BOU Twitter conferences), and in recent years has been actively involved in researching the ornithological community’s use of social media and has co-authored paper with Jen Smart (How social are ornithologists?, IBIS, 2016) and Tom Finch and Nina O’Hanlon (Tweeting birds: social media promotes citations in ornithology Royal Society Open Science, 2017).

With a background in design, in 2019 Steve designed the new Janet Kear Union Medal replacing the BOU’s existing Union Medal which had been in service since 1912.
 
Follow Steve on Twitter @stevedudley_
 

Dr Tom Finch

Early Career representative
 
Tom works is a Senior Conservation Scientist with the RSPB’s Centre for Concervation Science. His interests include conservation, agriculture and bird migration. He completed his PhD at the University of East Anglia in 2016, where he studied the breeding ecology and migration of the European Roller. He sits on BOU Council as an ordinary member, and is also on the BOU Engagement Committee.
 
Follow Tom on Twitter @ tomfinch89
 

Dr Daniel Hayhow


also
Equality & Working Group member
 
Daniel has been working in conservation science for the RSPB since completing his PhD at the University of East Anglia with Prof Jenny Gill on winter habitat use by Black-tailed Godwits in Ireland. In the Monitoring and Species Research section of the RSPB Centre for Conservation Science, Daniel has led national surveys for a range of scarce species including Hen Harrier, Dotterel, Snow Bunting, Chough and Golden Eagle. In recent years Daniel has led on a number of multi-partner publications including the 2016 and 2019 State of Nature reports.

Through this body of work Daniel has built up a broad knowledge of species ecology and conservation issues and practice. Passionate about engaging people with nature and conservation Daniel has been active in communicating with the public through radio, TV and print media as well as social media activities and citizen science projects.

In August 2020 Daniel will join Earthwatch as Research Lead in Urban Biodiversity, an exciting new challenge working on urban biodiversity studies as well as climate resilience and mitigation projects globally.
 

Dr Nina O’Hanlon

Social Media Support Officer
 
Nina is a seabird ecologist with a particular interest in seabird ecology and conservation. She is currently undertaking a post-doc at the Environmental Research Institute, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, focusing on anthropogenic threats to seabirds in the northeast Atlantic. She has had an interest in birds since childhood and is passionate about all aspects of ornithology. Nina is a member of the BOU’s Engagement Committee as our Social Media Support Officer and with British Birds as a director focusing on communication and social media. She co-authored (with Tom Finch and Steve Dudley) Tweeting birds: social media promotes citations in ornithology. With Steve Dudley, she is joint organiser of BOU Twitter conferences (#BOU17TC and #BOU18TC).
 
Follow Nina on Twitter @Nina_OHanlon
 

Dr Ashley Sendell-Price


also
Equality & Working Group member
 
Ashley recently obtained a DPhil from the University of Oxford’s Department of Zoology, where he is currently a postdoctoral researcher. His research uses island colonising birds as a model system for studying the process of speciation and is particularly interested in the use of historical avian introductions as a means to study the very early stages of divergence/adaptation in the wild. In his current position, Ashley is using whole genome sequencing techniques to identify genomic regions underlying the ‘island syndrome’ – a repeated pattern of change seen in birds towards larger body size and slower life histories on islands.

Ashley is committed to increasing diversity in both science and ornithology and has taken an active role in the organisation of events to commemorate LGBT history month in Oxford and is a founding member of the Oxford Biology LGBTQ+ Network. As a member of the Engagement Committee and Equality & Diversity Working Group Ashley assists the BOU in its commitment to equality and diversity, as well as its engagement with members and the ornithological community.
 

Non-committee members reporting to the Engagement Committee

 

Dr Christina Ieronymidou

Blog Editor
 
Christina works at BirdLife Cyprus as Monitoring & Research Coordinator, leading the organisation’s scientific work to inform conservation action and advocacy for birds and their habitats in Cyprus. Her work focuses on coordinating BirdLife Cyprus’ long-term monitoring programmes, data management and analysis.

Before returning to Cyprus, Christina was based at BirdLife International where she worked in the European Species Programme on delivering the 2015 European Red List of Birds and on implementing the Wildlife Comeback in Europe study. She completed her PhD at the University of East Anglia on farmland birds and land-use in Cyprus.
 
Follow Christina on Twitter @cieronymidou
 

Dr Jente Ottenburghs

Journal Support Officer
 
Jente is based within the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Group in Wageningen (the Netherlands). He describes himself as a curious evolutionary biologist with a passion for writing. His research focuses on the evolution of birds using the newest genomic techniques. Jente regularly writes articles for popular science websites, magazines and newspapers and has written a fantasy novel (in Dutch) and is also a stand-up comedian.
 
Follow Jente on Twitter @Jente_O
 

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