Since 2009 I have been the BirdLife International focal point for the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and some of its agreements, especially those on migratory waterbirds (AEWA), birds of prey (Raptors MoU) and landbirds (AEMLAP) of the African-Eurasian flyway. I have been instrumental in the establishment of a CMS global Working Group on Preventing Poisoning of migratory birds (coordinator based at the RSPB), and CMS Task Forces on Energy (coordinator based at BirdLife International in Cambridge) and Illegal Killing of Birds in the Mediterranean (coordinator based at the CMS Secretariat in Bonn).
On behalf of BirdLife and the international conservation community, I have been coordinating efforts to conserve Asian tidal flats and associated habitats and especially the Yellow Sea, including through the East Asia Australasia Flyway Partnership and IUCN (see links below). 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 the Peterborough HQ to 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).