George Monbiot divides his time between writing for the Guardian and pursuing a number of quixotic projects: generally writing obscure books and campaigning for lost causes. His latest book is Feral: searching for enchantment on the frontiers of rewilding.
Stuart Newson is a Senior Research Ecologist at the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), where he is mainly involved in survey design and analyses of data from large national ‘Citizen Science’ surveys. Whilst the core of his work has been on birds, he has a personal interest in bats and acoustic monitoring, and in particular how technology can deliver new opportunities for conservation, and provide new ways to engage with larger audiences. Stuart set up the Norfolk Bat Survey in 2013, a novel citizen science approach for enabling unprecedented large-scale bat recording using static acoustic detectors, an approach which has since been extended to a much larger area of southern Scotland, with plans now to develop this idea more widely.
Stephanie O’Donnell is the Community Manager of WILDLABS.NET, launched by United for Wildlife, with support from Google.org and ARM, to close the information-sharing gap in the fight against illegal wildlife trade and other pressing issues facing our planet. She guides the community’s development so that it contributes tangible value to the UfW objective of democratising access to the right information, tools and resources, and fulfils the WILDLABS.NET aims of connecting conservationists, technologists, engineers, data scientists and entrepreneurs and supporting them to find, share and create effective technology-based solutions to protect threatened wildlife and habitats.
Ruth Padel’s collections include Darwin – A Life in Poems and The Mara Crossing, a meditation on migration. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Trustee of the Zoological Society of London. Awards include First Prize in the National Poetry Competition and a British Council Darwin Now research award. She teaches poetry at King’s College London.
Laurie Parma holds a BS in Biology and a Masters in Neuroscience from the University of Bordeaux. Her interests lie in modern studies of human happiness, and she is currently leading one of the largest studies undertaken into the psychological and physical well-being effects of yoga. A second project, co-led with the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, investigates the relationships between well-being and biodiversity. The project team has developed a new smartphone app to capture the relationship between human wellbeing and the environment they are in moment by moment.
Edward Parnell lives in Norfolk and has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. He is the recipient of an Escalator Award from Writers’ Centre Norwich, and in 2009 received a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship. Edward has previously worked for BirdLife International and the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, and has written numerous natural history and conservation-related articles for magazines and newspapers; he has also worked extensively in television and media production. Currently, he is a freelance editor and copywriter, and is also one of the Co-Directors of the Wymondham Words literature festival. His first novel, The Listeners, was the winner of the 2014 Rethink New Novels Prize. He is currently working on his second novel.
Bruce Pearson is a painter and printmaker. Over the past 40 years he has worked on a range of subjects and themes about species in wild landscapes, sometimes in more remote places where people and their activity interact with wildlife and habitats. He is fascinated by the rhythm and restlessness of the natural world and often completes a painting directly in the field, while volumes of sketches and studies provide ideas and fresh starting points for painting and printmaking work in the studio. His work has been widely exhibited in the UK and overseas in many group and solo exhibitions. His recent Troubled Waters project, in collaboration with BirdLife International, followed the lives and fortunes of the countless seabirds that collide with industrial fishing interests on the open ocean.
Katrina Porteous is a poet, historian and broadcaster, much of whose work involves a detailed and loving celebration of the people, landscapes and wildlife of the Northumbrian coast where she lives. She has written extensively about local inshore fishing traditions, and often works in collaboration with artists and musicians, including painter James Dodds (Longshore Drift) and piper Chris Ormston (The Wund an’ the Wetter). Her long poems for BBC radio with producer Julian May include Dunstanburgh, The Refuge Box, and – with electronic composer Peter Zinovieff – Horse and Edge. Her most recent poetry collection is Two Countries (Bloodaxe, 2014).
Mike Rands is Executive Director of the CCI. After an early career as a research ecologist studying farmland wildlife populations in the UK, he developed and directed a programme of multidisciplinary conservation projects in over 100 countries for an international conservation organisation (ICBP). In 1996 Mike was appointed Chief Executive of the global conservation partnership, BirdLife International, before joining CCI as its first Director in 2009.