I am the BirdLife International focal point for the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and some of its agreements, especially those on migratory waterbirds, birds of prey and landbirds of the African-Eurasian flyway. I have been coordinating, on behalf of BirdLife and the international conservation community, efforts to conserve Asian intertidal flats and associated habitats and especially the Yellow Sea, including through the East Asia Australasia Flyway Partnership and IUCN (see links below). I have been active in the establishment of a CMS global Working Group on Combating Poisoning of migratory birds, the coordinator for which is to be based at RSPB.
I have a Zoology BSc from Durham University where my undergraduate project was on red knots at their Norwegian arctic spring staging area. I worked for the Canadian Wildlife Service on arctic breeding shorebirds for a year, and for six months in the New Zealand Government’s Ecology Division as a field researcher on a number of endemic species.
Since 1987, I have worked in nature conservation based in the UK. Firstly for the Nature Conservancy Council, following two years on conservation and designation of three Essex estuaries as Ramsar Sites and EU Special Protection Areas, I moved to HQ advise regional staff on conservation of internationally important bird sites and represented NCC at the Swale Public Inquiry. While Head of the Vulnerable and Dispersed Species Branch of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, I produced a review of the impact of wind farms on birds.
Working for the RSPB since 1992, for the first five years I coordinated national species action plan work on wetland and upland species before moving to the International Division. Here, until 2009 when I took up my present role, my work focussed on bird species conservation at European level through the EU Birds Directive and Bern Convention on European Wildlife and Natural Habitats. Through the Convention, I was involved in seeking resolutions to a number of damaging developments, including forestry policy in Iceland affecting breeding waterbirds, wind farms in Bulgaria and Norway and the Via Baltica road in Poland.
I am the chair of the Slender-billed Curlew Working Group, coordinating the recent search for the species across its non-breeding range (see link below).